With the arrival of Spring at our house, we become like the Russians who throw their doors and windows open to the fresh air as soon as it warms up. We go outside a lot, for no particular reason. Stroll up and down the driveway, perhaps, or check on the transplants in the side yard. Pull a weed or two, contemplate the grass that probably needs mowing.
It becomes important to “get out,” of the house, the neighborhood, the town — to leave the well trodden paths and go outside our usual haunts. Sometimes this necessitates a junket out of town, on a day trip to some other little town beyond our borders. (I am re-reading The Fellowship of the Ring right now, so Brattleboro has started to seem like The Shire to me.)
On other occasions, conditions present themselves that are perfect for a tried and true experience, to Stickney Brook or out along the West River to sit, with feet in the cool running water, and contemplate existence in beautiful symplicity. This we did last Friday afternoon, and it was blissful, especially with the addition of tasty sandwiches to allay hunger pangs and add to the perfection of the moment. (Now I really am a hobbit.)
June is busting out all over, and this year, more than others, I feel compelled to enjoy it. I have purchased fresh flowers, a luxury for me. But, as Jerry at the Farmer’s Market reminded me — those colors won’t last, soon it will be all yellows and oranges…. I agreed. Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, as the saying goes.
We’re in a phase of buying fresh organic vegetables because it occurred to me that we’d be crazy not to take advantage of this abundance all around us. I used to say I can’t afford them — trying to be practical and save money. But it’s false economy. They taste so wonderful, and here in Vermont, they’re really only with us half the year after which we’re back to out-of-season storebought produce, a sad substitute for the real thing.
Finally, there’s that old summertime tradition of days gone by — actually relaxing. When I was young, even the adults saw summertime as a time to kick back and enjoy life, to read, play, go on trips, and laze about. I remember taking stacks of books on vacation with me to read on the beach. Talk about luxury.
Well, I may not have that anymore but I can fake it. I can relax right here where I live, take life a little less seriously, pretend I’m on vacation even if I’m still working most every day. It’s still possible to slow down and stop carrying on as if the riot of nature outside and the extraordinary pleasantness of the weather were irrelevant to the “important” things in life such as making money and fulfilling obligations.
Life is right now, and I don’t want to miss it. It’s still June. All of summer lies ahead to be savored and enjoyed. And that, right there, is a luxurious feeling.