The wind is ferocious today. It blows hail at an angle from a wild sky partly blue and mostly white, and always shifting. It makes the little maple bush, empty of all leaves now, sway back and forth like a mad pendulum. It whackles the branches of the tree out front against the roof of the house. It rattles the back door in and out a good half inch, slipping in weasel-like around the edges wherever there is the slightest gap.
I have the day off work. I mean to sleep in longer than I do, but it feels better to be awake and moving than lolling under my quilts. Morning is not for sluggishness but the joy of life.
Peaceful days are nice in their own way. But I like the dramatic days - the swollen, golden days of almost instant sunburn, the snowfalls that accumulate an inch per hour, the cleansing rush of heavy rainfalls, the the urgency and bustle of windy days. When the world is pulsing and breathing hard and whirling with gladness and telling sudden stories, life wells within me, and unfolds my praise.
Life is for living; the shower almost hot enough to burn my skin, pulling back dripping hair, warm socks between my feet and the wood floor. Hunger is for food; the tortillas bubbling and turning dark brown while the eggs solidify, dipping it all into salsa and chewing slowly as I read Isaiah. Morning is for planning; for making a list, and a phone call, and a trip to the hardware store for a narrow paint brush, a gleaming silver tray and puffy white rollers, for cans of primer and paint with their perfect labels and unopened lids and the gloopy splash inside those round walls as I carry them out to my car. Time is for people; asking for help willingly rather than trying to do it myself, sipping coffee with friends at my old school, hauling wood inside together in anticipation of a fireplace party.
Leaves skitter along the street, and the hail that fell minutes ago has melted, leaving my sidewalk polka-dotted with wet splotches. The sun came out and is gone again; the wind is slower, and the brightness of the sky is lessened and greying. The caffeine-rush of the morning has quieted a bit, and it feels like an ordinary afternoon.
I take a break from scraping old paint from an ugly ceiling, brush bits of off-white from my shoulders and the scarf over my hair, and eat an apple still a little pert from the orchard a month ago, but sweeter and softer now. After my break, I feel the paint waiting, a promise of fumes and a short wooden stick for slow stirring and the satisfying waterfall as I pour into the tray. It speaks of patience along the edge of the walls and stiffness along my neck and drips along the sides of the can on the way to the floor, and it also speaks of the smooth new roller layering freshness, and the wooden brush handle in my palm, and the gleam of the lights against a surface that will be perfectly white. The paint and the tools wait for me to finish what I started, and I refill with good food and retie my scarf for an afternoon of thinking and working within these quiet walls.
178. hail bouncing from my sidewalk
179. dry shoes
180. hugs from old friends
181. hearing my mom's voice for a minute on the phone
182. how warm my computer's power cord is under my feet
183. Josh Ritter and Pandora
184. Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina
185. automatic doors when your hands are full
186. paint-stirring sticks
187. finding mounds of hibernating (?) ladybugs in the pile of wood, a gleaming red and black surprise
188. having snow boots
189. sore muscles that speak of the activities I was able to do this weekend
190. that tamarack trees turn yellow