Too often I am an in-house person: maybe sprawled flat into my desk chair, my head and shoulders smashed comfortably into its padding while I write or pray or read.
The chair was given to me as a gift six years ago, and this is what it looks like now.
Betcha I have flip flops from six years ago that look better than this.
But it is summer here, rich summer, and what sporadic outdoor life I have, I treasure. A few months ago gray skies and cold weather depressed me. Now we have sun in abundance.
I lay in it yesterday with a few assorted siblings in our backyard, all of us too much indoors (they work at a meat-processing plant where there are only freezers and sides of beef and cement) and sun-hungry. Following Elizabeth’s instructions, I made myself little duct-tape squares to place on my eyelids to protect the irises. She reads health books and knows about these things.
“Did you know the sun is addictive?” she asked. “I read it’s sorta like a drug, you go out in it once and your body keeps wanting more.”
Benny gave Mercury, his Puggle (that’s a cross between a beagle and a pug), a bath in a tote several feet away. Mercury shook himself, and I felt the spritzes against my arm. “Why are you giving him a bath here?” I complained. “As soon as you’re done, he’ll come over here with his stinky wet dog smell.”
“He won’t stink; he’ll be clean.”
“Doesn’t matter if they’re clean or dirty; wet dogs always stink.”
And I was right. Mercury did come over, and he did stink. He came straight to me–maybe because I was the only one who had a mattress–and made himself comfortable.
Funny how dogs love best, or at least equally, the people who profess to dislike them. Maybe I should cultivate doggish characteristics: thick-skinned, in-your-face, only love. Bet I could go a long way with a resume like that. Sensitivity–this constant awareness of what other people think or don’t think or might possibly be thinking–holds me back.
Mercury was quiet and content–snuffling now and then in that way pugs do because their noses are smashed and they have to work to breathe. I could feel his spiky wet fur and ratty little tail against me while I closed my eyes. It felt sorta nice.
Summer is good.
A turtle we found at kid’s club.