A pileated woodpecker makes his presence known, chortling over the carriage house, high in the tree behind.
I open the music player app on my phone and consider my playlists. How much longer will my Unlimited free trial last? When will I revert to Prime and lose some of my music?
I can hear the buzz of insects.
I leave my earbuds hanging silent from my neck, choose the remaining sounds of summer around and through the traffic.
People from larger towns could be surprised by how many cars pass by at this hour, at any hour during the day.
The main street, yes, Main Street, runs north-south through town. A brief drop to 30 miles per hour on a county route. Two streets run east-west, shared by the two side-by-side villages of the town. Yeah, I know. Plenty of people around here don’t get it, either. This house is just a little west of smack-dab in the center. Close enough to center that the US Postal service doesn’t recognize it as belonging to either village, so neither will deliver to it, so it comes with a free post office box. When I was growing up I found it strange that the kids’ across the street address was in one village, ours in the other. Turns out it was a matter of choice. A few years ago, a pair of baffled but cheerful women from the US Census Bureau were circling the house, peering at the walls. The house, built in the 1870s, wasn’t on their map.
Cars, passing up and down the street; how many I don’t know. People with business in town, such as can be done. Commuters and others heading out, heading home. People headed further into the country east toward Tug Hill. West to Lake Ontario. Throw in that anyone coming north to this area on the Interstate exits not far from the other side of my house, yeah… How’d I end up sitting here on the porch of this edge-of-ramshackle house I grew up in up the hill from the highway? A September morning in a life I couldn’t have predicted, didn’t expect, with so many things I wouldn’t have chosen?
But that’s life isn’t it? Who we are built on what we do with all the those experiences we did and didn’t want.
I slowly shed fall-temperature layers as the sunlight I crave climbs and warms the air and my body.
First to go is the heavy gray NY Rangers hoodie. I don’t watch or follow hockey, but, hey, if my younger son doesn’t like a hand-me-down from a friend and it will keep me warmer in the wicked, and not-so-wicked cold, I’m all for it. Next to go are the second-layer heavy fuzzy socks. It won’t be long until I shed the lighter pair I slept in. How could my room be cold enough for that already?
Listening to summer sounds as autumn creeps into my world.
The giant woodpecker calls again, from a little further away.
My kids sleep still.
My bare feet caress the sun-warmed planks of the porch. My flip-flop tan line faded but not gone. I can lose my long sleeves soon, at least in the direct sunlight on the side porch, sheltered from the breeze that might keep a bit of an edge all day. Writing is so much faster than reading. It warmed so much faster on your end than it has here…
The rest of my day will start soon. It’s a little late for that, but that’s okay. It’s hard for me to get complete pictures down in words lately. And the reds need the sleep.
The reds. People who haven’t heard me call my younger two that are usually surprised, but… for good or ill, it catches on with my friends. They are redheads, after all, unlike their big brother who is busy with the business of growing up. When it’s he and his brother referred to, it’s “the boys.” When it’s the younger two, it’s “the reds.” Just makes sense. Anyway…
We’ll start the reds’ lessons for the day. And one will head off to enjoy the afternoon with a friend.
For now… I’ll start another load of laundry, and come back without sleeves to my patch of sunlight I’ve followed across the porch, like a cat, staking it out and luxuriating. Synthesize me some more vitamin D.
I’ll take a picture, and press publish to invite you into my morning.
This moment. The moment I’m living.
Live your moment.
There’s grace in each one, even if it hurts to get to it.