April 14, 2011

the sun cure

I just spent the better part of an hour in my husband's greenhouse.

Hit by the heat (it was 105 degrees Fahrenheit), I opened the jaw of the vent wider.  I watered the lettuces and the children's hopeful log-lined garden plots, twice.  I hooked the water wand over the hydrant, ready for next time.  And then, I sat on the permanently reclining green chair at the back and just basked in the sun.

When I opened the door to leave, thinking it had been only a few minutes, the temperature dropped about 20 degrees in the open air.  Everything looked a bit dim.  Two mourning doves took flight.  Tiny little blue flowers in the grass shivered under a honeybee's attentions.  A squirrel scampered off, interrupted.  I had to reorient myself, like coming home from vacation.

On the way back to the house, I took off my flipflops and walked barefoot on the grass.

My husband (let's see, what shall I call him on this blog.....?) has, for the last two months, regularly recommended this treatment - greenhouse time.  Somehow, though, once the children are all separated for quiet time, the allure of a snack and a good book drives all thoughts of the outdoors from my mind.  I just want to shut down, as quickly as possible, for my own little quiet time.

He was right, though (as he very often is).  There is something very physically relaxing about green things and Extreme Sun (it was down to about 90 when I left).  It's as if my very pores are hit with tranquilizers, and the effect lingers.

So I spent my time lying in the sun instead of catching up on email or starting supper or crossing something off my to-do list.  My chores all still here, none the worse for the wait.

And even away from the sun, my skin still tingles.

April 9, 2011

a "wasted" day

Today is Saturday.  

Usually, by Friday afternoon, at least, we (I) plan our Saturdays to maximize our time together (i.e. "our joint ability to get a lot of chores done").

This week I am too pooped to muster thoughts of efficiency.  This week, we watched a movie on tv Friday night.  It had absolutely no literary merit and was not otherwise lofty in any way.  (If you must know, it starred Steve Martin and John Candy).  We stayed up late and laughed ourselves silly.

And then ....

....we slept in.  Until the sun and the children woke us up.  It was lovely.  And even more lovely was having absolutely no plans for the day.  It felt deliciously decadent to know that we could watch tv all day if we wanted to (that would be a shocking first for us, but it felt like a real possibility).

Mid-morning, I found myself posting on facebook that I was "doing nothing", and realized that I had in fact already fed the baby breakfast, started a load of laundry, cleaned the bathroom, bathed one daughter and showered myself.

Huh.  But it did feel like "nothing", somehow.

Later, after watching a Chinese language dvd with the girls and helping Sugar and Spice make lunch (which they usually do by themselves while Nice sets the table), I folded laundry, took a quick nap, read an extra chapter to Sugar and Spice from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (while advising Nice to keep Lil' Snips away from various enticing household dangers), and then decided to bake cookies.

And it still felt like "nothing."

I spooned lumps of cookie dough onto the trays, mulling over this anomaly:  I was doing as much as, or more than, I would have on a day powered by a to-do list, and yet .... I felt relaxed, carefree.  Was it the extra sleep?  Having "backup" (as husbands who work away are gratefully but inadequately called when they are home)?

Both sleep and the presence of my stalwart husband help, of course.  But I feel as if I have discovered something alluringly simple.  Today I was focused on enjoying the day, relaxing, just being with my family.  My intention was to deliberately "waste" my day.

Instead, serendipity happened:  I was productive with my time.  And, miracle of miracles, I enjoyed it along the way.

I wasn't hurrying.  I didn't push children out of my way (*blush* as is my custom at times).  I didn't say "not now" when Nice longingly admired the pictures in one of Lil' Snip's books.  Instead, I stopped what I was doing and read her the story - right then!  (that only deserves an exclamation point, I'm embarrassed to tell you, because it is so highly unusual for me).  I didn't fret about time & schedules - in fact, we ate lunch early because .... we were hungry early.

I would like to say that this has been an epiphany and hereafter I will run my household with a lighter touch, but I don't suppose there will actually be an overnight transformation.  It does give me a faint sort of hope, though, for a different reality.  Could life be like that - always?

Or is that what heaven is for?

I will be grateful for the gift of a happily "wasted" day.  Now if you will excuse me, I need to go eat a cookie with my daughters....
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...