I had made no holiday plans because I'd assumed that Tom would be working today. But no, in fact he will be home and to all appearances in the mood for an easeful summer day. So we have decided to marinate chicken in lemon juice and garlic and grill it over the firepit, and we have also decided to make stuffed grapeleaves. This morning I will go harvest the leaves and the various herbs, and then I will spend a peaceful few hours rolling up the leaves around their dots of rice while listening to the baseball game on the radio and drinking quarts of ice tea. Yesterday Paul and I went strawberry picking, so I might also make a strawberry-rhubarb pie, if the kitchen hasn't gotten too hot. Otherwise, we will be forced to subsist on strawberries and whipped cream, a fate that I imagine we will be able to suffer through.
Frequently, like Willa Cather's character Jim Burden, I wonder about the contentments of marriage: "This was a fine life, certainly, but it wasn't the kind of life he had wanted to live. I wondered whether the life that was right for one was ever right for two!"
But there are some moments when the why-are-we-here? slips away, and the here-we-are rises up like some small tidal island--and then, yes, here we are, celebrating the gulls and the wet stones and the earnest rosy snails. Happy independence day.