Today is a sunny, drizzly, wintry late spring summer day, a rich day for meditating and harvesting nostalgia.
Such weather induces silence. The cats huddle for warmth, seeking places to stay dry and out-wait this weather. Children and adults find indoor activities. Less people prowl the neighborhood in cars, bikes and motorcycles. Nobody is cutting their lawn or trimming their trees and bushes. Few walkers and hikers pass the house. The birds become dormant on branches, indulging in their own weather meditation.Even the crows and jays aren’t saying anything.
With this quiet, I think of faded intentions and plans. I’m almost 60 now, and can pause and look back on what I thought would happen and what I planned, and compare it to what transpired. More, I remember insights that I planned to act upon and never did, words that I meant to say to people, feelings and emotions that were to be spoken, but never touched my lips. Time is an avalanche, and buries these moments. They may be our intentions but they’re subject to everyone’s timetable and existence.
Some people say this is summer, despite the calendar and the official start. Summer begins with some when Memorial Day passes, or June begins, or the schools let out. Whichever way you consider the season, as late spring, or summer, today’s air carries wintry odors and chills. It reminds me of Okinawa winters. Our tiny apartment, made of cinder blocks and lacking insulation, didn’t have any heater. We’d purchased a small electric heating tower to keep us warm. Our family was me, my wife, and the cats. The cats were Crystal and Jade, felines that others surrendered for different reasons, that we took in. For a time, the family included Jade’s three kittens, too, but we found them homes.
Jade, a terribly smart and willful tabby cat, loved the heat and despised cold. She planted herself in front of the heater about six inches away. If you tried sharing her space, she’d bite your ankles until you moved out of her way. Mess with the heat and get the teeth. She’d make her displeasure known through her biting without moving anything except her head and mouth. The rest stayed huddled, keeping warm.
Such memories flooded me as I gathered my laptop and gear and packed it away to ‘go write’. We were in the snug, the small room where we do most of our living. The house is about 1850 square feet but we can usually be found within the snug’s hundred and twenty four square feet, reading books, on our computers, watching television, cats on the desk and laps. A small electric heater was on to combat the chilliness. The room’s thermometer claimed it was 69 in there but it didn’t feel that warm. It felt like an Okinawa winter. So the small electric heater was on because its more energy efficient than running the entire gas system.
We’re spoiled, I think, remembering back to those days of Okinawa. But sometimes it’s good to be spoiled.
I wish everyone was.