On my way home from work, I stop in to visit a small building just recently finished. Inside, the room smells of freshly cut cedar. The visit is a pleasure, with a building well-designed and completed. Its owners will take joy here, that’s nearly certain.
I’m at the far end of the lake, and so I take the long way home over dirt roads. I make one more stop, where someone I knew years ago has finally begun building a long-planned retirement house. Building is both fast and slow these days — a craze to build and a shortage of materials. There’s no one at this site, and I stand for bit, admiring the view of the Black River valley. I hope this place gives the owners their share of joy, too.
Where I work now is the town where I spent so much of my daughters’ childhood summer days, swimming and hiking. There was plenty of joy in all those things, too. The afternoon is redolent with humidity, exactly as I remember in my childhood.
In this steamy afternoon, I have a little pocket of time before an evening meeting. In my garden, I pick two zucchini, some lettuce that’s gone to sour, and a red coin onion. My garden grows as tall as my shoulders, more wild than not. A light rain patters down. I weed a little.
A thousand things I’ve done today. Or nearly a thousand. In this little moment, I let my own racing mind go. The snails have gotten into the lettuce. I lift one and then, gently, set it back down again.
Let it eat on, I think. I’ve plenty to spare. Don’t be greedy, I admonish myself.