It's the cats' mission most mornings to get me out of bed soon after the sun rises. Of course, shortly after I rise, they are back to sound sleep, yet I appreciate the wake up call (or pat, purr, or massage) because in my middle age I have become a faithful and studied connoisseur of Sunday morning solitude. I'm no longer a night owl, but rather a proudly self-proclaimed early bird. Take as proof the fact that I fell asleep about 15 minutes into our movie last night and Miss Bit has the video to back it up.
As I got up out of bed this morning, so many muscles revolted. I felt every squat, bend, lift and reach from the hours of yard work we took on yesterday. It's a good pain: the reminder of hard labor. I've never been a gardener and I don't call myself one now. I don't like dirt and I'm scared of bugs. There are numerous witnessed accounts of spiders running toward me or jumping on me when they should be running for their lives and away.
Yet I've grown to appreciate the planting of beautiful living things that will grow year after year. It's another measure of middle age and it makes sense. Gardening requires patience, vision, faith, resolve and commitment: all very mature characteristics. I've made 4 stops to 2 nurseries, and my husband 2 trips himself. I have to go back at least once today. I spent so long perusing plants one spree that I came home with sunburn. I don't know much about plants or flowers so I read and ask questions and then I finally just pull the trigger and dig the holes. Well, Mike digs the holes. We water every day, fertilize once in awhile and then hope that everything will take, flower and ultimately survive. All of this is, of course, the perfect metaphor for life.
After gardening all 90 degree day long (thank you Mother Nature for the strong and steady southwest breeze though), we took an impromptu road trip to Windmill Beach yesterday late afternoon to cool off in Lake Michigan and catch up with family. We donned suits, grabbed towels and piled into Mike's new car (yes, his BMW was totaled), and I even surprised myself. This sudden surge of spontaneity may or may not be attributable to middle age. One certainly cannot rule out the phenomenon known as summer state of mind.
And it felt like summer after the wind shifted back to the southwest. We dug our toes in the hot sand and sat around the fire pit we didn't need. I dipped my toes in the lake and declared it too cold, but before long I took the Walk of Death (WOD), but really it's the walk of life because the water is so refreshing and energizing. I pretty much walked in and under which is a freak of nature...my nature. Of course, I dove in with my sunglasses on my head on a wavy day so I made an offering to the lake. I was rather nonplussed by losing my favorite Ray Bans and that is a touchstone of middle age (and chardonnay). You dive into the lake with glasses on your head, you're going to lose them. Stupid actions have unpleasant consequences, and they're only glasses. Yada yada. My brother promised to walk the beach this morning to see if the surf spit them out. I had a vivid, convincing dream that he found them. We'll see. If not, I hope the someone who finds them feels lucky and looks good when they wear them.