Tuesday, May 30, 2006
That Time of Year
That time of year came early this year... You know...
That time of year when I must get up at 5:00 a.m. and do all I can before 8:00, before the sun dials up the heat and humidity to awful levels. For then, oh my, you should see me. No, actually, you shouldn't. Because on hot, steamy afternoons I turn into Dorothy's wicked witch and can be heard to say, "I'm melting!" Because I do, you know. I do melt and I feel just like old-fashioned Southern ladies, those who murmur genteel complaints and lie upon fainting couches, longing for the cool of the evening.
Well, with me, it's kind of like that, too (except that my complaining can be quite un-genteel-like, indeed).
So that is why, on broiling days, I arise at 5:00 in shadowy light and dress, then open doors and windows wide. I feed the cats and give Lennon his insulin shot and then microwave my pretend coffee and carry it, along with my books, out to the front porch where it's now or never, because soon the sun will beat down upon my wicker out there. But in the early-morning coolness and silence, with God sitting across the porch from me, I lounge in my quiet time (and find it hard to pull myself out of it).
But after time, the temperature rises and so must I to feed the backyard birds and water the yard, then back inside, to the basement, to gather and wash a load of laundry. Then back upstairs for a little chore, whatever I did not do yesterday... wipe down window sills, change the litter box, dust or mop or wash a sink.
Then into my little dressing table closet to apply my make-up, quietly, so not to awaken Tom in the next room (when he's not working day shift). That done, I brush my hair and grab my keys and it's out to the shed for my new Old Bike, then we head out together for a two-block ride--Old Bike reminds me just how pathetically out of shape I am. You should hear me huff and puff as I'm nearing home, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.... I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Yet in my defense, this is an old 1-speed bike (or as Tom said, a no-speed bike) and it's harder to ride than those cinchy 10-speeds.
Then Old Bike gets tucked back into the shed and I'm off again, back down the driveway, this time for a walk. Though by now, my town is waking up... kids are walking to school and people, on the avenue, are driving past me on their way to work. Mostly I stick to the old neighborhoods, though, the ones, especially at this time of morning, which whisk me back to 1930--and I go with that. I pretend I am there.
Then back home...to hang up the laundry, then a little breakfast in my secret corner, tucked away with a book... classical music beside me on my old radio and Lennon on a chair beside me, staring at me and my plate.
And then it is 8:00.
Time to awaken Tom...
...time to choose gratitude over dread--gratitude for all I accomplished before the dreaded heat arrived....
...time to accept that, of all the things in Life I cannot change, the weather is probably the biggest one, so the best thing I can do is change my attitude about it...and change my schedule, too.