Lazy Summer Day (16)

mexican birds of paradise through the open louvered windows

I don’t go to yoga this morning. Instead, after I water the front I weed the bed with the tecoma bush. The Mexican bird of paradise there has taken off. It’s taller than I am. When I begin weeding, I know I’m not going to yoga. I want the luxury of being able to putter, to not rush through my morning chores to hurry across town. I do the rest of the watering, and then I end up clearing away all the things that have collected on the floor, the ice chest and remains of our picnic a week ago, the cans of tuna and cat food from Trader Joe’s. I wash the bamboo plates and spoons. (Yes, I am terrible. They have sat there for a week wrapped up in flowered cloth napkins, crusts of hummus on them.) I take a photograph of the birds of paradise through the open louvered windows with the morning sun falling on them. I talk to my friend Meri on the phone for a long time. In the early afternoon, I reread three chapters of Natalie Goldberg’s latest book about writing. I eat Brazil nuts and a big bowl of cherries. The mourning doves are eating fallen seeds. Sable is still outside with me, so every now and then I wiggle my foot or wave a pillow at them to get them off the ground. “There’s a cat,” I say. I point to Boo snoozing in the shade under the honeysuckle. The birds watch me, expressionless. (Who is this crazy person? What is she saying?) The flies annoy me, insisting on touching my face, my calves, landing on my ears. I want them to go away. Cicadas buzz from my neighbor’s tree. They are one thing I love about summer in Palm Springs. I have a goal now to make a list of more things I love so I’ll remember not to hate summers here. After I write I’m toying with the idea of excavating the tabletop, maybe finishing assembling the shelves so I can remove the tall stack of books from the kitchen chair. I have not yet figured out how to live in 340 square feet. Maybe, I think, I will even wash the floor today. Or maybe I will make scrambled eggs and turn the misters on and sit here reading my latest novel about Valdemar. It’s easy to call the odds for this one as soon as the idea surfaces. But you never know. It’s Day Three of my holiday. Anything can happen.

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