Thursday, June 23, 2011

An Act of Grace

IN BIRDLAND LAST WEEK'S HEAVY STORM BLEW OUT our internet, and just this morning I finally convinced technical support that they do, in fact, need to send someone out to climb our roof and fix the dish. It took three hour-long calls before they would believe me, just an old Prairie woman.I said I'd climb the roof myself and send a photo of the naked workings of the receiver, its poor guts hanging out, open to the wind and rain, after the storm blew the cover clean off. They said “That won't be necessary, ma’am.” I think they could hear the irritation rising in my voice.

In some ways it seems like an act of grace, this storm that has allowed me to see how my life has become enmeshed with the internet. Yes, in the summer, I do all of my teaching online, so it has been inconvenient to drive to town in order to work. I spend more time and money in the coffee shop, and have memorized the library's hours. I am using much more gas than I'd like to. On the other hand, it has switched up my day in a kind of pleasant way. Instead of spending my mornings online, I'm out in the yard while it's cool, or sometimes inside, continuing my progress on ridding out the closets. This morning I did the pantry closet, finished before noon. I'll have to go to town soon, to get my teaching done, but it already feels like I've accomplished a full day's work. I know I'll have a long list of emails to answer when I get there, but for now I'm enjoying the symphony of the wind, frogs, and various birds, with the undertone of cicadas.

 The color wheel has turned around again to orange, and the Day Lilies are beginning to bloom. Even this late in the year we are one step behind the town's fashions in our blooming. I've been seeing Yucca bloom in yards and along sidewalks, white bells dancing sweetly in the breeze. Here, they have just begun to stretch out from their shoots. Last week they were like giant asparagus spears, today, they are empty candelabra. I walk out to my little path to the barn and discover that the Hollyhocks I planted last year are blooming, bright pink to match the purple flower that may be Larkspur, growing from a bulb I planted on the same path. In the fields, the beans are up in curving, velvety rows, and further out, the wind ruffles the corn, creating shiny ripples. I think again about the idea I had while my sister and I were walking the labyrinth yesterday, to use my week-wacker to cut a labyrinth, or at least a spiral path of some sort, in the tall grass. I had stopped mowing several areas of the yard, and now in the evenings the fireflies sparkle and dance just like they did when I was a child. I think that cutting just a pattern would leave enough of the meadow intact so that the fireflies would still have their shelter.
This morning I mowed a section of the yard, and then weeded the Iris border that almost completely encircles the house. The Irises are thick enough that the weeds were mostly rogue mulberry trees, that I cut out every year. I also cut the spent stems of Iris. The border looks much neater now. The weeding is hard on my knees, but the mowing gives me exercise, and a chance to help Ursula run off some of her energy early in the day. She brings me her frisbee and I throw it over and over. Each time she faithfully retrieves it and drops it in front of the mower, tail wagging, looking hopefully up at me. I'm so much enjoying my walk around the yard that an idea begins to form. What if I declare one day a week no-internet-day? Sometimes we need a little break from something just to understand how it affects us.

Since I'm not tied down to the internet signal now, I sit outside under a canopy of maples writing my letter. If we'd had internet today, I wouldn't be sitting here, with my glass of iced tea, listening to the rise and swell of the summer songs. I wouldn't see the tiny, yellow toadstool that sprouted from the mulch. I wouldn't have this view of my little pot of geraniums against a background of bean field through the bottom of a glass.

No comments:

Post a Comment