Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Summer Tasks

Stitch. Poke the needle through the fabric, pull the floss taut to the knot. Wrap the thread around the needle three times. Hold the end tight, but gentle, gentle! Pull, pull the thread through its embracing self, pull all the way until a tiny tight rosette appears. Or a loose messy tangle. Either way, keep going because you have promised yourself not to waste time on cutting out the errors. "God hates perfection" said your embroidering mentor and so you go on, warts amid the precision, admiring the way your work maps the progression of your skill as well as your effort.

Peel off the dragon that Mia once wanted on her wall, piece by piece, a blue archipelago of sticker, each tiny piece its own island on the sea of the wall, sometimes an image appearing in the random bits, "Oh look, Mia, a dachshund!" as a silhouette appears. Know the painter could probably strip or sand this off in moments. Resist the urge to care. Make a mental note to reread "The Yellow Wallpaper" to compare the experience.

Weed. Embrace your banning of broadleaf herbicide and enjoy the sound of buzzing bees and the scent of clover as you search for the buried vines of creeping charlie spread across the yard. The long green tendrils are as narrow as a grass blade but tougher and you need to use two hands to keep the narrow stem from snapping as you hold with one hand, search with the other for the snaking path it has laid at the edge of turf and lawn.

Cull the Legos. Sort the toy boxes into a semblance of order, group by game and type, gather enough pieces of Playmobil and American Girl to pass on to another child. Revel in the excited chatter of the little ones who take it all away.

Pack. Empty each drawer, shelf and cabinet in the kitchen as we prepare for a total remodel. Toss as much as you can, sentimentality be damned except for the girls' artwork and those tiny ceramic mushrooms I made in Girl Scouts, the ones that sat on Aunt Ruth's window sill over the sink until my last visit when she urged me to take them home. Wonder if the new window you are cutting into the wall to place a sink beneath is an extreme effort to capture a childhood glimpse of four seasons as the warm water runs over your hands.

Love the days of incremental tasks, undertaken with faith in far away results. Keep going. Keep the faith.