It’s a gorgeous day to be alive, and for once all my work is done and I’m free to do whatever my heart desires. As I write I’m sitting in my backyard, enjoying the view of the garden tended by my husband to attract bees for the vegetables he’s growing below.
I started the morning off with my reading from The Divine Hours Prayers for Summertime by Phyllis Tickle. It’s a blessing to read her book each morning; at least for a few minutes upon waking I feel all’s right with the world and my place in it. One day I’ll hopefully remember to return for the mid-day reading to get back on track, and close each day with the Vespers reading. So far I’ve been good about remembering every morning, terrible and rarely remember to read in mid-day and remember the evening prayer about half the time. Something’s better than nothing!
After my healthy morning shake (a carrot, celery, cucumber, kale, protein power, flaxseed, strawberries, blueberries and half a banana with 1/4 cup of pomegranate juice and a teaspoon of vegetable juice) and a quick glance at the paper (which doesn’t take long given how small even the Sunday edition has become) I headed out to Meadowbrook Middle School where my church was holding a “Love Your City” day.
Today, instead of doing the normal Sunday church thing, we closed the church doors and instead went out into our community to make a practical impact and, hopefully, reveal that our faith makes a difference in the here and now. We painted benches, planted a hillside, packed school supplies, and cleaned lockers — my job.
Some of the lockers were merely dusty, others were caked with months-old soda spills and many had been taken over by spiders. By the end of the morning I was feeling nausous from the cleaning solution and spider combination but I was also happy that I’d been able to help make the middle schooler’s day a little better when they first open their locker. I know how nervous I was when my first child first set off for middle school, a little boy entering a scary new world, and would not have wanted him to open the locker to put in his books only to discover sticky stains left over from the occupants from the year before.
So, my good deed for the day done, and having finished my left-over work yesterday, I have been able to completely enjoy my afternoon, guilt-free. I finished one book and started another and have been researching my trip to France planned for early October in the Dordogne. I often fantasize about spending months or even a year or two living in France, or Italy, or England, or … pretty much anywhere in Europe. In fact I’ve been dreaming of living in Europe since I was six or seven years old, and I hope to find a way to retire early so that I can at least spend a few months at a time over there.
But on days like today, I remind myself how good I have it right here in Poway, California. Perfect weather, shady live oaks filled with the sounds of birds, a creek meandering through the back yard, and fresh veggies and fruits courtesy of my husband’s new-found love of gardening. Today I’m grateful to be here, enjoying a beautiful day with a great book, my daughter home from college and nothing so urgent on my “to do” list that it can’t wait. It doesn’t happen often, but I’m going to enjoy it while I can!
- Dordogne (Aquitaine) (a-fishermans-journey-through-france.me)
- Sunday morning coffee and more flowers (mikesdailyblog.com)