This is a busy week. Between the press of spring farm chores, we have my birthday celebration, Jon’s birthday, Father’s Day, and getting Lucy packed to leave for camp. Nametapes must be sewn and new socks, underwear, and shoes purchased. Stacks of paperwork and unfolded laundry wait on every surface. My dear big sister, whom I haven’t seen in two years, is stopping by with my brother-in-law on their way home from Montreal. And I have just promised to cover the counter at the rental store in town so the owner can visit her husband in the hospital in Boston. I am working off long lists to squeeze things in without overlooking major details.
I’m very aware how lucky I am. My husband has a job and does not have a broken neck. A mudslide from the endless rain is not carrying my home away, as it is for a friendly couple in my church, profiled yesterday in the New York Times, and a dozen neighbors. I have not been diagnosed with lymphoma that has moved into my bones and brain, as has a former school employee who is younger than I am.
Still, sometimes as one rushes through tasks, clutching one’s lists, one can use a reminder. Yesterday evening I was tired, wet from rain, and slightly cranky. I had pulled my back and had to hurry home to fix supper.
I’d moved the temporary fence in the pasture and was standing in the field, listening to the ripping sound of the cows happily tearing the new grass. I looked up and saw Freddie, my friendly barn cat, picking his way through the tall wet weeds to me, tail high, purring, hoping to be picked up. Behind him marched my two geese, Andy and K.
It was a page from a storybook. A nameless storybook absorbed long ago. Instantly I forgot my aching back, my clammy jeans, the bug bites rising in lumps under my hair, the long list of things undone.
Every once in a while I am blinded by a flash of pure contentment. This moment, right here, right now, is perfect.