Shall I tell you about my sinuses? Because that’s what yellow in the road makes me think of. No? Not much interest in my daily allergy struggles? Neither am I. Let’s talk about time.
But that, too, is tedious. Who has enough time? Nobody. I get tired of hearing myself complain of all the things I have to squeeze into the wee number of hours we’re allotted in this life.
There were once days when I had enough time and this summery season makes me think of them. We moved here in June thirteen years ago and I didn’t have a job. We had dogs. No children, no horses, no rodents, no real career aspirations beyond a vague urge towards graduate school. Our house was neatly half the size it is now. My days were…lazy. I took long walks. I took naps. I stared at our dull gray walls and considered painting them. But I was 24 and didn’t know yet that the first move was mine and if I didn’t make it it would never get made.
I read a lot that summer. I also drank a lot of gin and watched a lot of movies, but mostly I read. Entire books in one afternoon. Huge books like Ahab’s Wife and War and Peace. And small ones. I read – for maybe the 30th time – Emily of New Moon which was written by the same woman who wrote the much better known Anne of Green Gables series. I read Emily while sitting on a bench in the front yard. Cars passed. Some drivers waved. I waved back and read. I walked dogs. Read. Got a drink. Read. And I felt the way teenagers feel, that time is at their beck and call, that they can move as slowly as they wish and the world will wait.
Now I know – nothing waits. Time is going to pass and it’s going to feel fast and whatever we do inside of that time – television, drugs, higher education, babies, write a novel or two – time is going to pass anyway. Which isn’t to say I don’t sometimes spend a glorious half hour reading and sipping iced coffee on my rocking chair on the porch, accomplishing nothing beyond a few pages. And remembering with sweetness that summer of change and hesitation and books and gin. But after my glorious half hour I go back to whatever work is at hand. Because time is short, and passing.