Our annual summer trip to the lake cabin took an unexpected turn: we had severe air quality issues due to wildfires further inland. We spent as much time as we reasonably could outside, but it wasn’t the idyllic dockside laze-about we’ve always had. Still: I rested. I knit. I cooked. I spent a lot of time on the porch just taking in the stillness, with my husband at my side. I felt gratitude that most every day of the year I get to breathe some of the freshest air in civilization.
Our children revert to childish ways at the lake; they spent time paddling about, having water fights, swimming, and searching for freshwater mussels – naming these shut-up little creatures and then carefully depositing them back where they were found. We also hit the drive in for a fun summer blockbuster, and by this time the air had cooled. Ralph, Phoenix and I stayed in the car and ate sandwiches; Nels and his friend Luke sat outside, goofed off on their phones, and ate even larger quantities of food.
It wasn’t difficult to take days off work, but when I got back home – even though I’d committed to the weekend for my work sabbatical – it was nearly impossible to stifle my desire to sew. I ordered fabrics, I completed some business admin on the computer. I am not perfect! It seems it took me a few years to develop such a driven work ethic; it may take a few years to dismantle it a little. I think of myself as confronting a knotted-up mass of yarn: no good to go yanking, just gentle efforts at disentanglement.