It was a long road to the end of the academic year, but I made it. Although Thursday was the official last day, several colleagues and I returned Friday – and my office mate and I yesterday – to move furniture and sort material for our next assignments.
My calves ached this morning – surprising, since the 5K last month and subsequent hikes were a breeze. I suppose that all the standing tip-toe to reach boxes high on shelves and then the subsequent walking while heavily laden caused some muscles to work harder than usual. My arms never tired. I was pleasantly surprised to find myself carrying large bookcase by myself. It seemed very heavy the last time I moved it.
But I digress.
This morning I woke up.
It started to “wake up” a few weeks ago. I began to notice small things. The robins chortling at dusk. The collection of dust and cobwebs in the corner behind the bedroom door. The acidic smell of coffee brewing. The faded, worn condition of my work clothes. The sharp disappointment when the alarm cuts short my morning writing.
Over the course of the year, I moved from a focus on my job to a state of willful tunnel-vision. The big things – watering plants, changing filters, cleaning the bathroom – were so routine that I could do them even when my brain (and I suppose my heart) remained at work.
But not now.
How do I describe rolling out of bed at the “late” hour of eight this morning, a new poem blooming in my mind? It’s not like a childhood summer, lazily veering from adventure to boredom.
I feel ready to everything at once.
I wrote down the poem that came in a dream, then rearranged it into a haiku. Then I made coffee. Then I picked up a book that was sitting on the end-table, read a few lines, then set it down again.
I suddenly craved my cooking, turbo-charged. I made olive bruschetta (or something like it) to accompany my egg and tortilla breakfast. Olives, smoked oil, garlic, red pepper, sea salt, wine vinegar… something is missing.
I decided to work on my schedule. First, The Fine!-I’ll-Do-It-Myself! Writer’s Summer My planner steadily filled: parties, appointments, visits with friends, concerts in the park, and multiple weddings.
Suddenly it hit me: capers! I started a list. (Capers for bruschetta, I mean. Not the wedding-crashing sort of capers; I’ve been invited to the upcoming nuptials, I’ll have you know.)
I check Facebook and end up reading a lot of silly stuff, which reminds me to call Sissy. We discuss travel arrangements. We also talk about worn-out wardrobes. I describe the dress I’m wearing to my vast relations’ summer weddings.
Afterwards I write “white shoes” under “capers.”
Then my friend Tōn calls and tells me about her health, her family, and her scrumptious plantain recipe.
I add plantains to the list.
I wash dishes, drink more coffee, and sit down to enjoy the rainstorm with its crescendos of lightning and thunder
It’s been rainy and gloomy most of the day, but the sun is showing its sinking face. I’m going to bed early because I find myself pleasantly tired. And because I can. And because tomorrow is another big day.