Today is my day off.
It lies before me, a broad landscape with endless possibilities.
An unblemished apple.
A bag of coins to spend however I choose.
Where do I start?
No alarm this morning, I sleep until the little dog nuzzles me awake.
A perfect cup of coffee, then, to be savored as I plot my day.
I have a list of things I need to do. Housekeeping chores, of course. Shall I wash clothes and hope the weather clears so that I can hang them on the clothesline…or plan to spend the afternoon at the laundromat? I have letters to write and bills to pay. I stewed the last of the tomatoes last night; they have to be processed today. I need to flesh out my plans for the after-school art class, and make examples to illustrate the project.
I have a list of things I’d like to accomplish, if I have time. This includes things like mending, rearranging and minor repairs. I want to bake bread today. I’ve got a swatch of nice fabric to re-cover the seat of my desk chair. I’m still in the middle of the major re-organizing project that I started two weeks ago. The studio needs to be put in order so that actual studio work can happen there. This week I also have a suitcase full of clothes – “hand-me-downs” from my sister, Brenda – that need to be put away. Since I’ve promised myself that for everything I bring in to this house, I will let something go (because otherwise “enough” quickly becomes “too much”), that entails going through what I have in closet and dresser, and weeding out what I no longer wear. While I’m at it, I’d might as well pack up the warm weather clothes for storage and bring out the winter sweaters. And oh, glory be, if I could take the time to hem the four pair of slacks that are useless to me until it’s done, it would be a great day!
Then there is the list of “should”s. These are things that are good for my body or good for my soul: study, read, write, draw, exercise, meditate. They should be my first consideration, I know, but the benefits – or lack thereof – are not as immediate as a messy desk, unpaid bills or having no clean socks. Too often, these are squeezed into breaks or rest periods between other tasks…or they are put off until last…or neglected completely.
The moments rush past – they always do – turning into hours and then this precious day is gone.
Last night we had our first snow of the season. Our warm, lingering Autumn is quickly turning bitter. Though the snow didn’t last, clearly Winter will be here before we know it.
This morning, trying to slow down and savor this time before it’s gone, I started my day with a walk in the woods.