Monday, May 31, 2010

Cold, dirty water

Holidays remind me of what every day should be.

Today, we woke up as early as ever, but instead of rushing and grouching at one another, we idled around sleepily and smiled dopily at one another. We walked outside and took deep swallows of morning air, full of the scents of electric violet butterfly bushes and pink and white carnations. I let Fain water the squash and zinnia and tomato plants and the compost, and I didn't scold him for not doing it the way that I would. I just enjoyed the breeze and the blueberry cobbler coffee and the exuberant playfulness of a little boy with a water hose.

I didn't start straight away in the overgrown flower beds. Instead, I went inside and took the time to cut up a sweet golden pineapple and to fry eggs and bacon and butter the toast and spread the grape jelly to the crust, and then we sat down together and ate with a view of the day through the window. We drank cold milk and talked about nothing, Legos and Transformers and spies and butterflies.

I threw the patchwork quilt across the clothesline for a tent because I prefer the lovely Indian patterns and the rich cornflower blues and currant reds to the drab green of a real tent, and I love to watch the wind shiver the loose edges. I tied either edge to the ground with Christmas ribbons that I found in a box and spread a baby blanket beneath the canopy, filling it with books about birds and spiders and lizards, chips and cookies and juice, binoculars and Transformers, and crayons and a sketch pad, and then I gave Fain the opportunity to establish himself there while I went to work on the weeds.

I hacked and strained against the wire grass that has overtaken the rose campion and daylilies, clearing away a little patch at a time, occasionally chatting across the street to my neighbor who was also working in his yard. And when I was tired of that, I planted the morning glory and moon flower seeds that had been soaking in cool water all night. The water felt so good to my fingers when I dipped them in to fish out seeds that I felt desperate suddenly for cold water, and so I asked Ms. Victoria, my other neighbor, if we could borrow her wading pool, which we set up beneath Fain's slide so that he could splash down into the immediately pine straw littered water.

Just the first three hours of the day were so beautiful and peaceful, without spending money, without rushing about to meet people or do things or run errands, without television or computer or car, just working in the soil, playing in the cold, dirty water.

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A Mirror, A Summer, A Street by Autumn Crisp is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.