Sunday, September 18, 2011

September 18: Wrapping it up

Tomorrow I leave for a two weeks vacation on Monhegan Island. When I return, it will be October. So this weekend I've been trying to wrap up all that stuff I need to do before I leave, which includes all my end-of-summer chores around the house and yard. The only thing written down on my to-do list was to pack, but here it is, early Sunday afternoon, and I've been bustling around all weekend taking care of things in a very satisfying fashion. Now, the house is vacuumed, plants watered, bird feeders filled, essential groceries my husband might need replaced, lawn mowed, gardens weeded (sort of), leaves raked, bushes pruned and mulched, gravel spread, work email set up with the "on vacation" reply, and laundry and dishes done.

But before I undertake the final, massive task of packing for two weeks on an island where the weather could range from just short of snow to sub-tropical, I'm taking a mindful moment on my freshly repaired and painted back porch to soak up this beautiful afternoon. I'm stepping into vacation mode just a few hours early.

The river is low right now so the water is just a quiet hush in the background, but a pileated woodpecker has been loudly calling for a while now and a pair of crows is yelling back and forth. Upriver, through the green wall of surrounding trees, I can see one red tree that's turned early. A small flock of waxwings flies over, which always brings a smile to my face. I love waxwings. A squirrel explores the edge of the lawn, while a chipmunk chips repeatedly just below, causing the squirrel to climb a tree, wave its tail like a furious little flag, and chatter back. In the distance, a lawn mower buzzes, white noise. My eyes keep closing involuntarily. Is there any calm felt so deeply as that derived from having accomplished what one set out to do, so that one can now simply rest?

How many moments
can we really say we feel
completely at peace?

PS: I may or may not post while I'm away for the next two weeks; my inn has sporadic wi fi, and I will be, after all, on vacation, focused on hanging out with friends and looking for birds... and maintaining this relaxed feeling!

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