It was with no effort or inhibitions at all that I walked onto campus today and lifted my arms out to the sides like those snake-like cormorants who perch on pilings or trees to dry their wings. Finally we are drying out after nearly two weeks of rain, cold, gloom and damp, and it felt great to pivot, turn my face up to the sun, and hang my appendages out for even just a few strides.
Spring is upon us. The graduate is recovering from a grand, prize winning time. Another bird out of the nest is on the wing to a job interview. Another heads to her summer office job. Unfortunately, the youngest of my birds suffered a theft at school yesterday, and this will take some recovery. We had a wonderful, full house over the graduation, in spite of weather that had us huddling by the lit! woodstove, and donning mittens at the evening baseball game.
All day today I’ve had a sentence from Henry David Thoreau flattening in my skirt pocket. He wrote on June 22, 1840,
He is the artist whose life is his material.[i]
Life is our material: to contemplate, to live to the full, to enjoy, and to use for the good. Much is fleeting. Much is daunting, and there is much suffering and trouble in so many parts of our world. I will think about my Concord neighbor’s take on the artist. I like to think about my material.
[i] Thoreau, Henry David. The writings of Henry David Thoreau. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Co., 1893. Volume VI: Summer.