this weekend: coffee and pajamas, planting seeds in the garden, washing piles of lettuce. a solo movie, chewing my pizza thoughtfully, slowly drinking a beer. doing some things alone produces a certain singular deliciousness; movies are one of those things. like everything slows down so that you can feel it all better. I don't really know what I'm saying but maybe you understand. afterwards I came home and nestled into my big comforter and read the end of my book.
then sunshine, the barn, a lazy horse. there's some quiet comfort in knowing all the barn kids so well. mackenzie comes to get me as I am lathering up cookie's mane in the wash rack. "can you help me?" she's eleven and her horse towers over her; she can't even lift her western saddle, let alone reach his back to get it up there. I loop a stirrup over the horn and put it on hunter's back. she calls thank you as she walks out, horse in hand. the others, older, come in later and ezra, the troubled kid, says, "hey." he's sixteen. I've known him since he was eleven. somehow I manage to always feel simultaneously like a grown up and a kid when I'm there.
a forty mile bike ride. no destination and no directions. just: east, north, west, south.
this mohawked guy on a skateboard was using his pit bull to propel him. the dog looked ecstatic. they were going so fast I struggled to pass them on my bike. the guy looked tough until he turned around and saw me grinning at them; then he burst out laughing.
june has been rainy, as always. for the most part it hasn't bothered me, except to make me feel ponderous and uninspired, a feeling that's seeped into me so slowly that once again I find myself asking, "is it the weather?"
free evenings at home continue to feel like an extravagance, a dream. at night I lay on the floor and stretch, trying as always to rehab everything. there are still plenty of nights -- most of them -- where I don't get home until well past dinner, but the freedom of softball and horses and dancing lies in such stark contrast to rehearsal, rehearsal, rehearsal that I still have not fully gotten used to it. I work for ten more days and then I'm off until august.
my mom texted me this week. did I tell you I bought her a cherry tree for mother's day? there used to be an apple tree in the backyard, just down the hill from the kitchen window. then, last fall, it had to be taken down. always trying to give gifts that are consumable (or, at least, that don't clutter up the house), I got the sudden notion to send her a fruit tree. but apples don't self-pollinate, which is why the only fruit that tree ever produced were tiny, tart, mealy apples. so I bought her a cherry tree instead. I called my kid sister and told her I needed her to dig a hole. "okay. when?" she didn't even need more explanation. when it arrived, it was a bare tree as tall as my mom. along with my uncle (who used to work for a nursery), my siblings helped plant it.
"she's blooming," my mom wrote. "I named her charlotte." I cannot tell you what joy this brought me. charlotte. this is how I know she loves it.