Thursday, May 29, 2014

Here’s to spring


I’ve not been writing; I’ve been consuming.

I’ve been reading books for long stretches until I can barely focus, reading online for inordinate periods of time - mostly reading.  But also eating a more than I should and more specifically, eating the wrong things.  It’s far too easy to do when your office is in your kitchen as mine is. 

The kitchen is my domain and when I’m not elsewhere reading, I’m in here at this laptop reading or writing , and almost constantly eating and drinking – coffee mostly.  I also cook two to three meals a day.  I love to cook.  I enjoy finding the foods I want to cook in the local market and then having something fresh and reasonably tasty for my family to eat.  On the other hand, even though I sit down to dinner, I rarely sit for any of the other meals I prepare.  I graze as I cook, or scavenge from the left-overs after the rest of the family has eaten.  I actually enjoy cooking a meal and then watching others enjoy it.  It’s a bit like theatre.  But I don’t think it’s the healthiest way to eat and my consumption in recent months has exceeded my output.  I’ve put on weight I will now have to either lose or live with.

And even though writing isn’t exactly exercise, it is exercise of a sort.  If I don’t work the writing muscle, it becomes slack.  The words don’t flow and the effort required increases – much like the muscles in my legs or my stomach or my back – all the places I feel the neglect piling up.

It is spring.  Winter was long, and for me, pleasurable.  I enjoy long reads on a rainy day with a steaming cup of coffee and a plate of maple-muesli cookies.  I enjoy it a bit too much probably.  When the first bright days of spring arrive, I close the drapes and snuggle even closer to my book.  The only thing that draws me out is the garden.  The garden is the other passionate pastime in my life.  I don’t consider my family a pastime; they are full-time, real-time, all the time.

In the past few weeks, I have spent countless hours digging and weeding and planting.  I love to see the garden come to life and I love to shape and color the spaces I husband.  I see gardening, at least the type of urban gardening that I practice, as a public trust.  I enjoy working a space that others will find calming, visually stimulating and probably most of all, an environment where people can wonder.

These are some of the things that have kept me from the page.  The list isn’t exhaustive and there is an element of pure laziness that I am reluctant to admit – but there it is.  So this post is an effort, an effort in a different direction, working a muscle that has been dormant for a few months.  

Here’s to spring.

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