Monday, July 14, 2014

The thick middle

I hear that old 10,000 Maniacs song "These Are the Days" in my head a lot of the time.  Maybe it's that the summer so far has allowed us time to slow down in the best possible way with no hard schedules to follow, but I seem more aware than usual lately that I'm living the rich middle years of life where we pour out the best of ourselves to those in our orbit who depend on us showing up every day.  We show up whether we feel like it or not, and most days I feel like it though not always.

I keep having moments lately that often center around our front porch.  There is early evening soft light and a lot of green.  Perfect temperature.  Warm, not too hot.  Windows open.  The dog at my feet and the kids playing on the block somewhere.  I have a glass of cold tea with little to no ice.  A book.  Last was The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and now nearing the end of Let the Great World Spin, a book that swallows me up, leaving my head in a fog (the best kind).

I feel self-conscious about the French housemate seeing my box of savignon blanc from Target.  Maybe she's judging me, maybe not.  She just sits there at our dining room table with her library book and cup of tea, in her long skirt and black tank-top, hair pulled in a loose ponytail at the nape of her neck, being all beautiful and French.  I taught her last month how to pronounce the word 'banjo' with a nasal /a/ sound because seriously, she was pronouncing it so horribly that we couldn't understand her.  She rides her bike around town, sitting with perfect posture on her borrowed fixed-gear bike and she goes on long runs and she bakes Brazilian breakfast rolls with cheese so delicious and chewy that my head was spinning.

I must remember these things because the middle years don't last forever.

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