There's no such thing as a day without anything that needs doing here, but the frenetic pace and activity-to-activity-to-activity standard dictated by my usual overstuffed to-do list have been blessedly absent today. Despite the early start--why must all three of my menfolk arise so bloody early in the morning?? Nobody other than me and Petunia seems capable of sleeping past 6AM, even on a weekend--it has been oddly peaceful so far.
Himself and Thing One have been at a soccer tournament all day. The younger two and I pottered up to the grocery store for canning jars and sugar and pectin after breakfast, and then out to the orchard, where we found that the jam strawberries won't be ready until next week. Of course, we bought some of the eating berries just to eat (how do you pass up fresh strawberries?), and now have red-stained fingers and lips. Then the younger two had soccer practice, but I couldn't tell you what they worked on. I sat with the dog and my friend J in the shade of a big tree by the field, out of the searing heat, and we chatted while they played.
Home again, I checked the chemicals in the pool, fixed lunch for the kids, and helped Petunia decorate cupcakes for a picnic this evening. She got red and silver sprinkles all over the place and I don't care.
Probably because I wasn't in such a stressed-out rush today, I was able to notice and appreciate my surroundings more than usual. My part of the world is rural and peaceful, full of fields and ancient deciduous trees and stone walls. The primary colors are the blues and greens and browns/grays of nature, and even in the heat today, I was struck by the beauty around me. It's not a majestic, Rocky Mountains sort of gut-striking, just-try-and-ignore-me splendor, but the more subtle tree- and farm-covered rolling hill variety that is much more easily overlooked by a distracted mind.
Which made me think of a Robert Brault quotation: "I regret less the road not taken than my all-fired hurry along the road I took."
Indeed. The days pass slowly but the years quickly, and I miss too much of what goes on around me for my brain being somewhere else, preoccupied with another responsibility. Perhaps I should hang this quotation over my desk to remind me of days like today.