It's the time when I wish I had more time.
I haven't written in weeks, haven't graded in longer. And the days are bright and beckoning. The Saturdays are clear about their identities. They are lounge-around, pancake, picnic-in-the-park Saturdays. They refuse to be coerced. They distain my attempts to mold them into grading, dishes, sweep-the-kitchen Saturdays. Although grateful for their obstinacy, I'm also getting a neck-kink from the increasing presence of thingsundone.
I constantly wish I had more time. But I wonder, if I had more time, would I just waste more time? Instead of progressing on my lists or hobbies or personal goals; instead of doing more with my kids and husband; instead of finishing chapter 4 of the new novel, would I just sit around more, take longer to wake up, fit even less of what's important into my life? I sometimes think so.
But I sometimes think not. I imagine that other life. Where garden all morning and write all afternoon. Where I have time to bake and plan meals around the seasonal growth. It's the cotton diaper me instead of the disposable diaper me. Every dawn I wake up energetic and focused. That's when I know I'm dreaming.
Be present in the moment? It's such a struggle to let go of the struggle. Most days I fail. I prefer the imagined moment, the cotton, home-baked, garden-tomato version of myself, to the present moment. I make lists then transfer them to larger paper when they get too long. I envision someone not related to me reading my book. I remember drinking tea by an east window with not one but three books of poetry in my lap, grazing on words like a spring calf in the first flush of clover.
I wouldn't go back to just tea by the window, mind you. I'm much too greedy for that. I'd want the current tupperware me AND the envisioned porch swing me to somehow coexist. Thus the lists. And the dreaming. The inability to just be present, wonderful as present sounds. Nothing gets done from a porch swing. My manuscripts won't send themselves out. My students' floor plans won't grade themselves. Opposing that, my children will grow up without me if I forget to look. I better write that down now. I'll start a new list. A one-item list (less likely that a unicorn in my world). "Look" it will say. Just "Look."
Only, how will I know when to cross it off?