Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Shortening Days

Nature is never still, but a new season brings about more noticeable changes. Yellowing, falling leaves and a more northerly sun, blooming chrysanthemums, cooler nights and shortening days have accompanied us through our first month of fall. We take along a sweater, just in case, and add a blanket to the bed. Next weekend the country will turn the clock back an hour.
I’m not happy with the idea of “shorter days”, though it’s really just fewer hours of daylight. At this age, I've become extremely conscious of my shortening days, intent on making the most of them. There is so much left to do, to learn, to see, to explore, and, as a friend said to me, lamenting her arthritis, the body isn't always up to all the things we desire to do. So perhaps my mantra now is Carpe diem, seasoned with a good portion of mindfulness. My challenge is to reconcile “seizing the day” with “being in the moment”. After my teacher years of harking to school bells, I refuse to rush, giving careful thought and priority to what I now consider to be worthwhile activities: reading, writing, gardening, exercise, and coffee with a friend, Internet chatting with my New Yorker son, taking granddaughters to the theater, a tea-time break with hubby.

My next project is to read Cien Años de Soledad in Spanish. In Latin-American literature class at the university, I cheated, reading it in English. I hope it will enable me to revisit in a flight of fantasy my barrio days in Barranquilla, Colombia, just across the river from Gabo’s (I doubt he'd mind if I use his nickname) mythical Macondo.


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