September 3rd, 2005

big book


A morning of sleeping in was just what I needed to revive me.

Awakening on my own, with no alarm incentive, rolling over and lying in the bed alone, listening to the breakfast clinks and clatters as Anders and the kids spoon up cereal. I stretch my toes, rotate my feet, feel my ankle pop a bit. The window is open and morning sunshine is slanting across the backyard, illuminating the pines and the far side of the ditch. It's heating up and the dew has already faded. A last-of-the-season fly is desultorily buzzing about, slow and heavy. He's not long for this world, and I feel no need to get up and remove him. The ducks in the farmyard raise a hullaballoo, flapping and wagging as their breakfast also arrives.

A day with no plans was just what I needed to revive me.

Putzing around at my own pace, catching up with online friends, sending long over-due e-mails. All day I had the time I needed to get things done, the little things, the things that fall by the wayside because the big things are so overwhelming and so necessary. No cleaning, other than running the dishwasher, this was mostly a clearing off and clearing up. Putting things away, making lists, relaxing. Standing at the window, laughing with delight, watching Anders and the kids bounce like maniacs on the trampoline: 3 human ping-pong balls. A nap on the couch in the afternoon while the kids watched a movie and baked like lizards in the sunshine streaming through the big windows.

Gulping down a fantastic book in one day was just what I needed to revive me.

If you read just one book this year, make it What's So Great About America by Dinesh D'Souza. Insightful, interesting, educational, and above all, thought-provoking, this was just the antidote I needed to the ravages the past few years have waged on my patriotism, my love of my country, and my tattered pride in being American. It's not a cheerleading rally, or a blind propaganda shout-out, but rather a realistic, engaging and careful analysis of the ideals and myths and REALITIES that make America so loved and so hated.

A walk in the late summer evening was just what I needed to revive me.

We started late because we ate dinner late and the sky was an inverted bowl of cobalt above us, not a cloud to be seen anywhere, only the zippered glowing streaks of jet-trails criss-crossing far overhead. The horizon, lined with a pale pink fire made the tops of the trees glow. No breeze, and only enough chill in the air to justify a light jacket; when we entered the tree-covered corridor of the snail trail, it was suddenly dark, moist and gloomy. Late dahlias bend their heavy heads and stonecrop blushes, caught out, caught red-headed. All around us are the zinging zither sounds of crickets or grasshoppers, something buzzing in the grasses. The gloaming fell quickly, it was dark by the time we had circled all the way home, the kids shadow-blurs skipping ahead of us.