Like many of you, I'm sure, I've just had a week. The house is cyclonic, there's no clean underwear in my drawer, and Loretta reminded me last night that I still haven't paid her piano teacher for the month. I facilitated seven back-to-back retreats and trainings since Monday and it's as if my "ON" switch is stuck, the motor about to burn out.
So waking up this Sunday morning to a quiet house without anything on the calendar feels too good to be true.
Our four-year-old neighbor was here yesterday afternoon. Loretta played dolls with her (she keeps them for that purpose) and all the accoutrements are spread out over the couch. (At least that means the dog won't sleep there.) On the kitchen table right now is a New Yorker, a baby present bought for a friend, stacks of mail, Yancey's computer, my computer, a shaker of red pepper flakes, a Bluetooth speaker, and some books for work. And some little plastic fingerboards that Wyatt was doing tricks with last night. On the kitchen counter is Loretta's bike helmet, a cooler we used for road-tripping to Wyatt's basketball tournament yesterday, Wyatt's computer, Loretta's book, and little flakes of kosher salt over everything.
And I woke up this morning happy about all of it. I stayed in bed reading Bill Hayes' book Insomniac City about moving to NYC after his partner died, about falling in love with Oliver Sacks (who had never been partnered at 75), about taking photos in NYC, watching the sunset from their rooftop. I got it from the library yesterday, started it at 10:00 last night, and finished it from 5-7. One of those kind of books. The kind I wanted to get up and tell you about. Divine. Perfection. The kind that breaks your heart and makes you love life all over again. And then I wrote this poem. Happy Sunday.
Sunday Morning Thank You
Finally, a free Sunday.
I wake up at five, eager to exploit
the commitment-free hours.
I plan to clean the fridge and make it look
more like my friend Lisa’s fridge,
little tubs of roasted squash and cut carrots
beautifully waiting for the week.
Then I will fold the laundry
that’s been piling up for two weeks,
dumping it out on my bed,
maybe listening to a little early Christmas music,
and probably reminding myself
that I need more socks.
My daughter and I have planned to go to church.
The men of the house are gone,
leaving us free to revel in the little rituals we both love,
probably slurping Vietnamese soup afterward
and debriefing Sunday school, where she is the oldest
(which she both loves and hates).
There will be coffee and later, wine,
maybe a walk with the dog when the rain lets up,
maybe a letter written to Emily
whose mailbox I love to fill.
But first—blessedly first!—are these two hours
under the covers with the old gooseneck lamp humming,
these two hours when I finish my book,
the one I got just yesterday
from the library, the one about finding love,
the one about grief and curiosity, the one
that makes me want to write this poem,
to notice every last thing about this day which,
inexplicably, I’ve been given.