Saturday, August 18, 2012

Bits and Pieces

August 18th, 2012

Great is the sun, and wide he goes
Through empty heaven with repose; And in the blue and glowing days
More thick than rain he showers his rays.

Though closer still the blinds we pull
To keep the shady parlour cool,
Yet he will find a chink or two
To slip his golden fingers through.....   R.L.S.

It is the time of the sunflower

and the phlox

and the yellow barn flower runs rampant through the garden on the hill

All this week, by noon, the temperature has reached 40 degrees.

Only the faintest wisps of clouds hover high in the deep blue dome of the sky

We are up early, - oh well, that is a sign of age.  We are always up early,  but in these
hot and humid days it is a decided advantage to feel the cool breeze drifting through
the kitchen window, and there is a little spot just under the sink where the
air conditioner pours cool air on my feet as I get breakfast.

This is the view from my kitchen window, except that the neighbour has now had the
old picturesque camper removed.  While it was still there I could imagine
myself out in the deep woods, camping, perhaps by cool waters.....

We do chores and errands in the morning.

In the afternoon we are very lazy - we read, or nap, or chat
I have thought of suggesting a game of crib, but somehow it all seems too much bother.

I finished reading  Anna Quindlen's book
"Lots of Candy and Plenty of Cake" a memoir of her life.

Anna Quindlen is of our children's generation, and so I was able to relate to her once removed
so to speak....  Although she is only sixty, - early childhood where old age is concerned - 
still  I thought that she was able to project herself quite well into the time of future aging;
 the loneliness when all the friends have gone;  the barrenness of the assisted living facilities
where one is safe, but solitary, and sometimes forgotten.
She covered all the contingencies of old age with poignant imagination.

It is a dreadful cliche to say that her observations 'resonated' with me, but
they certainly rang a couple of bells.

She spoke of Time passing imperceptibly so that before we are really aware of what 
is happening we have passed through childhood, and the excitement and fireworks of a 
new marriage have settled into the realization that if the marriage is to be successful and enduring
it must be bigger and more important than our individual wants and needs
and solid enough to embrace family and commitments.

And she spoke of the lengthening Time  that comes after retirement at 65, now that we can
probably look forward to at least another twenty years during which our energies and
sharpness gradually diminish and we are faced with empty days unless we can muster
 the imagination and creativeness to enrich them, and be content.

Well, that part was a little morose, and yet we must all live with the shadow of death,
 and although we cling to life even in pain and suffering eventually
 we start thinking of the next threshold to cross.

I must confess I was in tears when Anna Quindlen quoted the words that Emily, 
 from  "Our Town" says as as ghost....

"Oh earth, you're too wonderful for anybody to realize you.  Do
any human beings ever realize life while they live it - every, every minute?"

but that was partly because my mother was in "Our Town" when the
Edmonton Little Theatre produced the play, and we lost her early,
and partly because  my mind cannot yet imagine anything more beautiful than
this earth, and the importance of being mindful of that loveliness.

"When it's over, I want to say; all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it is over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don't want to end up simply having visited this world"

Mary Oliver


Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Oh Hildred! I'm speechless. Thank you for your musings. So much I could say, but you did it already and better.

Sally in WA said...

Your flowers are beautiful.

I have a question about the Princeton area which I think is near you. Can you email me please? Click on my profile and you can get to my email.

Thanks - Sally

Morning's Minion said...

A thoughtful post and the poetry integrates so well with your thoughts. At 68 I'm having to own up to some physical changes, and realize that one can stave off the inevitable for awhile--but not forever. One of my great hopes is to manage as gracefully as possible.
You and your husband are an inspiration in that respect.