18 Hours

Yesterday was a day full of everything. It’s easy to rise well before 6:00 in the early morning light of such long days, and work well into the evenings. Suddenly the small numbers on the laptop can read 11:45pm. One can hardly believe the day is still going on and you are still in it!

Early starts lead to much accomplished: the wedding tent permit, pool chemicals, printed-out photos of the parking space in question that generated a two hundred dollar ticket the night before. Because the avalanche of laundry seemed to teeter despite the careful balance of baskets on brackets, we made a run to the local laundromat, which resulted in lines of flapping shower curtains and other odd bits hanging out back. A quick run to the grocery for supplies to deal with the carpet issues. Throw in an evening meeting down to the school. Take a call from the fire department chief back Kentucky way, and then set to the “real job” finding theses in Paris and Ohio for the geology team.

It was when I lay down stiff as a board at midnight that I realized I’d basically been running for 18 hours. The lushness of no moving parts was like a mechanical pencil laid to rest. I drifted off into sleep without our trusty fan (that had been deployed to try and deal with the carpet issues) and although the sleep was not ultra deep, it got the job done. Perhaps sheer exhaustion helped my mind set aside the broken transmission, the broken dishwasher and that pesky parking ticket. The day had been glorious sun with lovely breeze. Is anything so lovely as a day in June? My mother thought not judging by the times I heard that old rune.

Now on the train home I drop my pass as I doze off, my fellow bench passenger coming to my rescue. As I put on my sweater, a moth files out. I pick up my new library book, Sweeping Beauty: Contemporary Women Poets Do Housework and already feel some kindred spirits may emerge. Will they share my deep thoughts of late, such as true love doesn’t mean you need to be together all the time, but rather that you can be apart? Will they reflect on saying Yes as a parent when you can, so you can say No when you have to? Perhaps one of the poets will inspire me to figure out what I meant when I scrawled on a napkin now posted on my bulletin board: “soul grabbing but not gut wrenching.”

Ah, full days, full evenings, full of summer sun on the best of days, and with a breath of breeze on the perfect ones. I know our world hurts and many people in it, and I raise a note of praise to those who work while others sleep, or read or write about their wonderful days while wishing life was full of them for everyone.


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