Sunday, May 18, 2008
The Roughly Perfect Day
Today the weather was warm but not oppressive with a gentle breeze to keep the skin cool and the bugs away. It was one of those days that I remember as endless and frequent in my childhood – a day to spend outside, all day, running into the house only for food or drink or when the bladder is so full that a trip to the bathroom can no longer be avoided. (Oh how I envied the boys who could just stand facing a tree to relieve themselves without breaking away from their play!).
I left my watch in the house and let my body be my guide – working in the yard with no eye on the clock. I finished the fence around the little garden next to my back door. Charley is somewhat displeased as it was her favourite place to lie, but with her long thick fur she was the worst offender when it came to tracking dirt and bark mulch into the house.
I am really rather pleased with the end result, and in celebration planted my favourite herbs to complement the pansies, violets and other flowers already growing there. The finishing touch was adding a rustic name plate to the gate, a hand-me-down from my parents which has traveled with me from home to home for a number of years.
I confess, though, that I came up with the perfect name for my self-styled carpentry practice: “Eyeball Incorporated” – because more often than not, I end up eyeballing something to see if it is level, is the right angle, is long enough! Somehow it all works out and another task is off my to-do list and onto my “enjoy” list.
As I worked in the garden, the dogs were by my side. Lily, who I am dogsitting, was on a longline tied to a tree as she is a little runaway who is faster than a whippet and can squeeze through places no self-respecting mouse would attempt. Sadie tended to hang out as close to me as she could, while Charley and Belle moved about from tree to tree, and from sun to shade to sun, as the spirit willed. I was entertained by a baby squirrel in the nearby oak, and watched a Stellar Jay sun itself with wings outspread on the lopsided rocky retaining wall out front. Butterflies were abundant, the baby starlings were pip-pip-pipping from their nests under the eaves of the barn, and a robin stole a tuft of Martin's soft wool for its nest.
I took advantage of the breezy, warm weather to get several loads of laundry done, drying them on the clothesline – the oldest environmentally-friendly, solar-powered household appliance. I have always loved the smell of sun-dried material. As a child, when we had only a wringer washer and a clothesline, I would lie in bed at night with my nose snuggled into fresh sunshiney sheets and pillow cases, inhaling deeply of that warm, comforting smell. There is no fabric softener that duplicates it, no matter what the manufacturers choose to name their products.
While living on acreage in a 600 square foot 1930's home sometimes has its disadvantages, more often than not I think I was born in the wrong era. I know I will always be much happier with the simpler, more environmentally friendly, and far less materialistic or harried existence than most city folks seem to live today.
My friends Ellen (Kinley’s mom) and Janice (Hearts on Noses Pig Sanctuary) came over for barbequed fish and a spinach salad, which we ate outside with the dogs at our feet. Icecream was shared with the piggies (as well as candies, strawberries and watermelon), and much laughter was shared among friends.
"Yummy!!! Ice Cream!!!"
And now I am heading to bed, to inhale deeply of my fresh sunshine-scented pillow cases and sheets, and to let my mind reflect once again on how very, very blessed I am to live this life, in this place, with these critters and friends. It has been, indeed, a roughly perfect day.