So far, today is an ordinary day . . . of course, it is only mid morning. It has been weeks since, a day went along as it usually does, without an agenda-or a single plan. There is always housekeeping, with its’ familiar tasks. I do want to paint a table, that got moved yesterday . . .and I do want to start my book, for that never happened, though I have had it a month. Otherwise, it could just be a beautiful ordinary day.
A light rain is falling, as the forecast predicted. It is warm enough outside, that I have a window up. It is the kind of rain, for children to play in, or young romantics to walk in. An old lady could make use of it too, if she had bought those rain boots. Instead I will listen to it fall like a soothing melody from a silvery sky and remember my grandmother saying, “I love you like rain.”
Housekeeping today included all sorts of chores. The house was orderly, to start with, but the laundry room could sure stand a “going over”. I scrubbed the floor where a sofa once was and of course Cash tracked through it immediately. He never fails to do so. I cleaned out my pocketbook. I love order, but fail miserably with a pocketbook. Large or small, they somehow stay laden with receipts and coins and rosin and all sorts of odd things. I found a key, but have no clue what it goes too. I tossed out the old pocket calendar, for the new one, Mama gave me. For some reason, that felt good. It was full of deadlines and legal notes, that ended up meaning nothing. All of that is at least behind me.
I feel like I have been through a “crash course” of sorts, these last few months. Lessons learned the hard way are my least favorite kind. It was as I have said before, “first one thing and then another”, and each thing, frightfully on the heels of the one before it. There was no use in crumbling under the heaping mess, for first of all, that wouldn’t do one iota of good and besides, I owed it to my children to show them how to stand on fractured soil. Now, that it is an ordinary day, I can at last see the dust settling and feel almost, unscathed by the botched business of selling the house with the rambling grounds. It is not because I am saintly, but instead, because the burden was heavy and made me weary . . .and so I tired of it. I sorted out my thoughts like I was cleaning out a junk drawer I discarded what no longer worked or was needed. In doing so, I received my “second wind”.
It rained all day, so that I kept a lamp on. I actually packed up some pictures, . . . proof that my gumption was restored. There was not a bit of hurry in me today, as I went about my work. There didn’t seem to be a bit of hurry in anybody, for the countryside was still and lacked even the slightest motion. . .and the landscape , muted now, in late December, would have made a beautiful, but somber painting.
On Saturday, for the first time, in a long spell, the sun came up boldly, proclaiming the day. It seems it has been weeks since the light was bright enough to cast a shadow. Even the mockingbird, was glad and sang. The morning was mild, so my window went up again.
Today, I will hopefully, finish painting the floor. I never intended for that to happen. It all started when we rearranged the furniture. The paint was scant in some areas of the old hardwood, I noticed as I scrubbed the floor. All it needed was a “touch up”. I surmised, but I soon realised, it needed more than that. That is always the case, it seems, with any project, that I have ever started. Even planting a rose bush, has the same conditions, for I will want to add a layer of mulch, and then , I decide, a birdbath beside it, would be nice and on and on I go, til it took all afternoon to plant a single bush. That is a summary of how all of the years here passed.
I was finished with the floor by noon. Since I had the paint out, I decided to paint the “morning table” too. The humble, ” morning table” is like an old friend to me. I rarely attach sentimental attachment to furniture, but the morning table, where I write and sit my cup, will make the future move to the next rabbitpatch. Likewise, the “Christmas closet” will too, and the bed, that all my children have slept in -and a dresser, that my late husband, Jamie restored for me. I will also take an old pie safe and a cupboard, that belonged to my dear friend, Julies’ grandmother. I suppose I will take the piano too. I had decided against that, but when Christian plays his songs, beautifully enough to make an angel cry, I know full well, it must come too. . . .whenever that time shall be.
When the table was painted and almost dry, I decided to sort through the bin under the kitchen sink. That led me to mixing up solutions that remove stains, deodorize pet beds and sofas, and room spray . The concoctions are free of toxins, have wonderful fragrance and are economical. Most importantly, they work . . .and I would rather spend my money on hyacinths in May, after all.
In the twilight hours, I read. . . just for pleasure, about Secretariat, the champion of horses. I had seen a documentary and I clearly remembered watching history being made when Secretariat was in his prime. I was just a young girl, then and so, it was a long time ago, but I have never forgotten the excitement of watching this horse literally leave the others “in the dust” and winning the “Triple Crown”, by what seemed a “country mile”.
When Secretariat died, the usual procedure, was to perform an autopsy of sorts, though his death was no mystery. It turns out , that this horse had an unusually large heart. Much larger than the average. Oddly, Secretariats groom, had always declared, that Secretariat “had more heart” than other horses. The high school drop out, had noticed it right off. He was there at the birth, and this foal had stood, at just 45 minutes old. Though, Secretariats’ owner had lost a coin toss, and therefore ended up with the “lesser” colt, the groom knew better.
I was glad I had somehow, decided to explore this random piece of history, for it inspired me in many ways. I thought about how sometimes we feel, like we have “lost a coin toss” only to learn later . . . that we had really won the prize intended. I thought about wisdom, thankfully, not reserved what the world considers, the “privileged” and of course, I thought about having a heart – big enough, to “win” our own races, even if the odds do not seem favorable.
“Ordinary” days needn’t be dull. They may lack glamour and hold not a trace of excitement. They may hold a good deal of solitude and mundane tasks. But in solitude, we can consider greatness and if we do our best work, the most lowly of tasks can still give us a sense of satisfaction. A life is composed of all sorts of days . . . .and if our heart is big enough . . . we can love them all. . . and we might just get a “second wind”.