It is a spectacularly beautiful day. I washed, folded, and put away three loads of laundry and cleaned the hamster cage with Aviva, before lying on her bed together testing out each other’s most ticklish spots. I savor laughing with her, and the times she hugs me unprompted, perhaps more than ever before. Third grade is racing to a finish.
Despite the perfect temperature and gorgeous bright sun, I had to push myself to run this afternoon before picking her up from school. I was just feeling kind of meh–and this is not meh weather. But about halfway through, I spotted a mama with her kid sitting on their front steps, then realized I knew her and stopped to say hello. Her son was selling pictures. “And they’re free!” she noted. So I shuffled through his photocopied drawings, choosing one he called “Happy Pig” and asking for his signature. We chatted for a few minutes longer before I set off running again, a rolled up original signed by the artist in my sweaty hand. On the run back to the car, I bumped into two other former coaching clients who’ve become friends. Then I rewarded myself with an iced latte from the Bluebird Tavern coffee stand on Church Street.
Now I’m sitting on the deck. I can hear the ice-cream truck chirping “It’s a Small World” somewhere nearby, neighborhood kids on the trampoline two yards up from mine. I just spent an hour here with a plastic bag on my head, letting the sun soak into my henna-drenched hair beneath, reading Muriel Rukeyser:
and I am clear of all the chains
and the magic now that rains
down around me is
a sunlight magic,
I come to a sunlight magic,
There are days like this, with their laundry and their happy pigs, hamster bedding and friend-bumping-intos, barefeet on the deck and ice-cream-truck-singing, when I am struck by the magic of the ordinary. It may sound trite, but it’s so very true. Days like this, when the sunlight is a kind of magic, lifting me out of my meh and into myself. The chains have lifted.
When Greg came by the house to get V en route to picking up Pearlie, he had a friend with him. Her plans to fly to Portugal today to begin a two-month trek on El Camino were thwarted by thunderstorms and striking airline workers. She wore the ashes of her pup who passed away last fall in a tiny silver vile around her neck. In the kitchen, smearing peanut butter on saltines, she asked me what my dream job would be. I gestured to the space around us. “This,” I said, without thinking first. “This is my dream job. To write, to have time with my girls.”
May it be so, may it be so. I don’t know what this looks like in the future, but I do know what it looked like today. There’s always that pesky question of monetization–don’t we all dream of getting paid to do what we love?–and I am just letting that question be for now, living it perhaps, without grasping.
When you don’t need an answer, there’ll be days like this…