“If you go slowly enough, six or seven months is an eternity—if you let it be—if you forget old things, and learn new ones. Even a week can last forever.”
Rick Bass, Winter

"In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."
Albert Camus

Friday, June 8, 2012

Part II, Day 52: Just Chillin'

I'm probably the only person in the North Country who is sad to hear that it might get up to 80 degrees on Sunday.  When Zoe and I head outside on these cool June mornings, I rejoice when I need a fleece jacket.  She loves the cold, and I love what she loves--as long as it doesn't involve eating a maggoty deer leg or squirrel.

These early days of June have been so achingly sweet.  How did I ever leave the house and go to a job?  We're never apart now for more than an hour or two.  We sit on the balcony and watch the river.  She does her doggy meditation, I attempt my human form, she goes on the gentlemen's walk with my husband, and I write until lunch.  We roam the yard looking for things to smell, and we sit on the rocks and stare at the water moving steadily as breath.  We walk in late afternoon.

Yesterday she startled some grackles away from their favorite backyard willow, but she ignored the baby groundhogs who could have been lunch.  She doesn't chase every bunny she sees now, but she stares them down until they're out of harm's way.  For a while before dinner after our walk I swung myself in the hammock and watched her chew on grass and thought about nothing at all.

It occurred to me the day before yesterday that I could make each day with her feel like two if we share more activities together, so that evening instead of just roaming the yard for one last time before bed I asked her what she wanted to do.  She pointed to the road.  When she was a puppy we used to walk after dinner through our neighborhood so that she could practice being on the lead, and invariably she would tug to go to Rebecca's house on State Street, where she could play hide and seek with her cats.  She did that again last night, but Rebecca wasn't home, so we popped in on Diane and Fred and while I admired their remodeled kitchen Zoe chased around the cats.  Their boxer had to be restrained because it's his job, not hers, to manage the cats, but Zoe learned a little bit about boundaries, and that's never a bad thing for a dog to learn.

Cool nights.  Green grass.  Furry black dog.  Leaves plumping up and filling the trees while light winds carry the aromas of early herb gardens.  The great blue heron, the big blue sky.  A full moon on Monday, then the transit of Venus on Tuesday, and now as the week winds down, just the peace that comes after one of those big stellar shakedowns.

I work on the France novel, then go out to the yard to pet her, then head upstairs again.  This is my work now.  This is my job.

Sweet early June.  I will never forget these days.  How I long to make them pass slowly, as slowly as it takes to write a 500-page novel, as slowly as it takes for some of us (moi!) to learn what peace is and how it's always accessible right here, right now, in a single moment of an otherwise unremarkable day in June.

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