This isn’t what I was planning on writing about today, but oftentimes, written words have a life of their own. You head out of the gate with one thought and off the sentence bolts at breakneck speed toward the end of the page, leaving you to scramble behind, huffing and puffing, wondering where the end will be.
This is sort of like my day today, where I started out imagining it one way (remember that “to do” list from yesterday?) and pretty soon that all fell apart. I got one thing on my list checked off (flu shot). Everything else went by the wayside. I’d like to say that the day changed course in a satisfying way and that I ended up going for a long hike or talking to a friend or writing a poem. The truth is that I wasted the day doing a lot of nothing, and the things that I did do (laundry, dishes) are things that are so easily undone in a day that they hardly count as being done.
Let’s just say that by 4.00 pm, with the sun setting an hour earlier today than yesterday, I was not in a pretty mood.
M had been industrious, though, and, among other useful chores, gave the lawn a last mow of the season. Just before the sun started heading down, I stepped outside to take a look and saw the freshly shorn lawn displaying the swirled pattern of a mowed maze M had made for Hyla back in August.
In spite of months of growth, the underlying pattern persists. Invisible when the grass is long, we’re oblivious to the path beneath our feet as we trudge from the house to the barn in early morning darkness, or wander out to throw the dog a ball, or gather in the last from the garden.
There, underneath everything is the persistence — of things, patterns, people, memories, songs, places, tastes, images — the background and underpinning of our lives. The things we know without having to learn them.