Sometimes you just need time to do tasks where your mind can let go and wander.
Shantel Durham, my house-painter, made that wise comment this afternoon when she was in the floor-to-ceiling closets in my guest bedroom, painting the dingy grey walls and shelves a clean white.
I had a lovely Mother's Day, and I hope you did too. Mine was quiet and mellow, just the way I like it: I spent time with friends, caught up with my family, and then worked in my yard, planting new plants, grubbing out invasive weeds, and seeding in the beginning of a native meadow in the backyard that last week was torn up for my new underground electric line.
After I finished playing with plants--something that never fails to make me happy--I headed out for my usual Sunday evening run.
Back when Molly was in middle school and high school, we lived in Las Cruces, New Mexico, in the Chihuahuan Desert just 35 miles north of the US-Mexico border. (There we are in the photo above in grove of native Mexican elder trees in our backyard. My hair was still red and long then, Richard hadn't started shaving his head, and Molly had a cat named Hypoteneuse.)
Every year around Winter Solstice, I remind myself of the word I've chosen for the year, consider what it meant and how it was expressed in the way I lived my days, and then ask myself what next year's word will be. Sometimes I hear the answer right away; other times it takes a while.
I was standing in one of my favorite stores in Salida's lively downtown this afternoon, debating about whether the cropped jean jacket I've been eyeing for the past month would fit into my budget, when a nicely dressed woman nearby spoke,
"Excuse me, do you live here?"
"For how long?" she asked.