I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my feet the Sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch -
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.

Emily Dickinson, c. 1864

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Going outside to play

I was walking to the Y on Friday after having my coffee, when I looked up to see what the racket was all about. The crow in this tree was complaining loudly about something, probably to her mate. If you enlarge the picture, you can see that there is a stick in her beak, so she (or maybe he) is building a nest, anticipating new life. The beautiful blue sky and wispy clouds behind the illuminated tree caught my eye as well, so I whipped out my ever-present cellphone to take this picture.

The weather is supposed to reach 75 degrees (24C) by Thursday, the next time we go hiking. It's really springtime here, with a day or two of rain and then a day or two of sunshine. The last two Thursdays have been on the wet side, with the need for rain gear and trudging in puddles and mud. So I'll be happy to have what's coming up this week for a change.

But for now, it's Sunday morning. I actually slept in a little longer than I usually do. I woke in the middle of the night for awhile, thinking that it was time to get up. When I realized it was only 3:00am, I thought, well, I'll lie here for a bit and if I don't go back to sleep, I'll get up. Before I knew it, I woke to the daylight streaming through the window. It was almost 6:00am. I know that doesn't sound like sleeping in to most people, but I wake at 5:00am without trying. It just happens, since I've been doing it for so many decades. It's my normal waking hour.

The weather hasn't been wonderful on the weekends, either. I've been watching to see when I might be able to get down to Skydive Snohomish for a few jumps with my friends, but it's not been sunny and warm enough to make the trip. I'm sure if I were really anxious to make a skydive, I'd go anyway and sit around and hope for the weather to cooperate, but I'm not feeling that way. In fact, now that I've made the decision to have this be my last season, I'm spending my time doing other things and not missing the activity. I miss visiting with my skydiving friends, though.

I just realized that I don't have any upcoming travel, no visits with family scheduled, no trips to go skydiving, and no plans for even a trip across the border to Canada. That is rather unusual, and unexpected. Maybe I should talk with my friend Judy about remedying that situation, except that she's in the opposite mode: she just returned from a trip to southern California and is getting ready for another long trip to visit family in Arkansas. Smart Guy is just now recovering from a bad cold (which I seem to have avoided catching) and is not anxious to make any plans. I'm in need of another traveling companion, it seems.

Or maybe I'll just putter in the garden and plant flowers, read some good books, and enjoy the lengthening daylight. Or not. I am reminded of a line from an Emily Dickinson poem, and I think it says it all:
    A little Madness in the Spring
    Is wholesome even for the King,
    But God be with the Clown –
    Who ponders this tremendous scene –
    This whole Experiment of Green –
    As if it were his own!
I'm looking for a little Madness to clean out the dusty corridors of my brain, a little spring cleaning, if you will.  I've certainly been treated to some Experiments of Green lately. The rain in these parts has helped to create an incredible variety of fifty shades of green, at least. And I do want to remember that I didn't have anything to do with it and give thanks to the Invisible Hand that did. I don't proselytize and don't appreciate others who do, who try to change what I believe to what they believe. We've all got the right to our belief, or lack of it, but every now and then I realize how deeply my own love of what I call God reaches into every fiber of my being.

There, I said it. It feels a little Mad, to have expressed it right here in print. The rain is drumming on the roof right now, I can hear it, but the sun is also shining. That means there will be rainbows, right? I'm feeling a little Spring Madness and maybe I will just finish up, get dressed and go outside to play. Do you remember when your mother admonished you to just "go outside and play"? Why, it's been forever since I've thought about doing just that. And maybe that's why I need a companion: when I was growing up it was always me and my sister who went outside to play. I need more sister substitutes, it seems. Or maybe I'll just take ahold of that Invisible Hand.

Enough rambling. I'm feeling the need to finish up and get some breakfast. But first, I do want to wish my readers a super wonderful spring (or fall, if you're Down Under) week ahead. For whatever reason, right this minute I'm filled with gratitude for the life I have been given, and for the wonderful companions I share it with. That includes YOU. May many rainbows be in your future.


Linda Reeder said...

At the moment the rain has given way to sunshine here at 7:30 AM, which is about my usually rousing time.
It's always good to have a little anticipation in your life, something to look forward to other than the ordinary routine. Yesterday we finally had another home soccer match, we won and it was a great game to watch. this morning we are going to a big plant sale at Sand Point in Seattle, and then we have projects to do at home. I'm actually looking forward to a slow week and helping to get some garden planted.
Yes, I want to go play outside too.

Rian said...

It does reach into *every fiber of your being*, DJan... and even though you may not be green, you are a part of it all just the same.

Meryl Baer said...

We are having similar weather - a couple of days tease us with warmth and sunshine, followed by colder days, lots of wind and some rain. I guess we appreciate the best days more when few and sometimes far between. Enjoy spring - summer is not so far away.

Anonymous said...

Your present life sounds lovely, DJan. Sometimes, it is best to just BE than to DO. There are times when I just sit and appreciate my surroundings and reminisce. I love your writing, by the way.

Elephant's Child said...

Rainbows, sunshine and all the myriad green magics right back to you. And a sprinkling of stars.

Arkansas Patti said...

I do hope you went outside to play. That is such fun though usually involves chores. But if the weather is nice, that can be fun also.
Right now the thunder is getting closer so I'd best shut down while I still have a computer. Enjoy your day.

Gigi said...

If only you were closer...I'd be your traveling companion! I think you and I would tick along just fine. As I don't have any sisters I'm always on the look out for sister substitutes.

Here's hoping you have a beautiful, dry week ahead.

Glenda Beall said...

After our writing conference coming up on May 10, I am looking forward to just being for awhile with no deadlines or expectations of me. To have the opportunity in spring to just sit and listen to the birds, to gaze on the fresh new greens all around me, and plant some flowers - that is my goal for the next month. Busyness is over-rated. I want some down time. Enjoy your days with or without a sister, Djan. I enjoyed my sister this weekend. She is so very special and I cherish her.

Red said...

I think it's advisable for us to have a number of friends so that we can carry on a variety of activities. It's also important to have some young friends like your Leo. And most of all we should not forget how to play. so go out and play.

#1Nana said...

We had planned to go kayaking today, but it was cool and very windy so we stayed home.

My granddaughter used that phrase "invisible hand" when I last visited. We were practicing walking home by themselves because next school year the oldest wants to be able to walk home. I told the girls that I would follow along behind them and they should just ignore me and walk like I wasn't even there. Sometime during the walk I feel a little hand in mine and Hunter says "there's no one here, I'm just holding an invisible hand."

Anonymous said...

Hard working birds! Beautiful shot! Enjoy the weather! Nice to get relaxed in one place after having a long trip!

Sally Wessely said...

Spring does fill us with a longing, doesn't it? I love how you have expressed that longing within you. I also understand the need for playmates to go outside and enjoy all that penned up winter lethargy. Enjoy your days. And, yes sometimes, we just have to reach for that Invisible Hand, and that is what we really needed.

Friko said...

Thank you for the rainbows, DJan, they are much appreciated.

We too have the green, but it’s still chilly. Still, there is a whole new world opening up, ready to go out in and play. Like you, I make up my own mind about whose invisible hand I’ll hold, but it’s a pleasure to think that there is something more powerful than us, call it whatever you like.

Rita said...

What a lovely post! I have days like that where the gratitude and joy just well up in me and kind of spill out my pores! I feel like I want to spread my arms, face to the sun, and twirl and twirl with a big old slap-happy grin on my face. It's like having your energy expand out into humanity and the earth or something. What a lovely day. :)

Linda Myers said...

The Invisible Hand. Hmmm. Usually has a voice that speaks to me through my friends.

Dee said...

Dear DJan, I'm so aware of that rainbow you are wishing us. Like you, I'm feeling such a sense of well-being. My health is good. My mind works well. I have friends and books and three cats who delight my days. Surely spring madness--giddiness I think--is called for! Peace.

Far Side of Fifty said...

I have way to many things planned...so I have a different type of Spring Madness and a list that won't quit.

I am glad you have spring it gives me hope.

I hope you have a wonderful week:)

amanda said...

I think this past year or two I've been adjusting to not having companionship in things I was used to having it for. Before our littlest guy Beau started school, I spent every day going on grand adventures with him, seeing what we could see, exploring & seeking & holding hands. For fifteen years of having small children home with me every day I did this.
My first year without, I found myself in a funk, not doing those things so enthusiastically (going outside to play) when it was just me. I had to reprogram a little. Now, year two, I love the quiet solitude that I have. Still - I feel that adventure shared is joy doubled.. I'm looking forward to some travel or plans of some sort soon, too.
As for proselytizing, I agree - I respect all beliefs & hope for the same respect. A friend of mine has been striking up deep conversation & questioning me on that broad topic of beliefs.
It is very broad. I'm glad that you are feeling such a deep connection with whatever or whoever you believe in, DJan.

I've never been an Alice in Wonderland fan, but I love this quote:
The Mad Hatter: Have I gone mad?
Alice: I'm afraid so. You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret. All the best people are.