I cannot understand why my garden is still alive. We have had so little rain this summer that I think the plants must be surviving on morning dew. But I've been picking bowls full of green beans and raspberries. The cilantro is thick and lush, and the second crop of lettuce is slowly getting large enough to harvest.
Tomorrow my younger son comes home from his Canadian wilderness job, and Thursday morning I drive to Vermont to read with my friend Baron. Little Ruckus the cat has been grieving hard for his dog, but he seems to be feeling better now that I have spent five days lavishing him with kisses and conversation. He is a cat who likes a chat and a cuddle. Cuddle is not my favorite word yet it is pleasant as an action.
The weather is cool this morning, but temperatures are supposed to climb back into the 90s later in the week. I was so tired last night that I went to bed at 8:30, without copying out any Rilke or even pausing to imagine myself as a poet. I am stringing these thoughts together without notable transitions because that is how I feel this morning. The black coffee in my white cup is almost too hot to drink. However, I do feel slightly more like a poet than I did last night.
I need to fill the hummingbird feeder early, before the sunshine kicks in and the wasps go on sugar patrol. I need to pay some bills and mow grass. I need to finish editing chapter 4 of the manuscript I'm working on. I need to maunder around with Elizabeth Gaskell's novel Wives and Daughters, which, by the way, would be an excellent comparison-contrast pairing with Jane Austen's Mansfield Park. Friends who have to write papers about 19th-century English lit: allow me to suggest them as a topic.
Presently it is 7:15 a.m. I hear an engine slicing through the air and a robin roistering in a tree. The kitchen clock ticks, ticks, ticks, ticks. Everything around me is tidy and clean, freshly painted and washed. The windows are open and coolness pours in. There are vases of flowers--dahlias, sunflowers, black-eyed susans--on the tables, on the woodstove, on the shelves. Bundles of sage and tarragon hang from a line, drying for winter dinners. I am surprised to be alive in the midst of this modest beauty. I hope that Tom and I will construct it again, in some form, in Portland, because it gives me great happiness.