The Sun is Up and the Air is Cool

The sun is up and the air is cool. My mate got up at 5:30, disappeared downstairs for 20 minutes and came back into the bedroom muttering.

“It’s freezing out!” he said and fell back into the bed in a sort of spiraling pirouette, like Holly Hunter does in The Piano after that meanie husband of hers cuts off her fingers with an axe.

It’s not freezing but it is just 60. And we had every window in the place open last night against all that humidit,y which made the air feel like the breath of an overheated dog.

Dave is asleep even as I write this now, at 9am. Needless to say, the teenage boy staying with us for these weeks is also asleep and will be until at least noon if the past weekend days are any predictor.

All of which I find pretty great because here I am with the morning all mine; the sun streaming on the windows of the screened-in porch mine; the day mine too, well at least for the next hour or so when I have to go buy a pork loin and giftwrap big enough to cover the box that fills the whole back of the Red Dragon, as the teenager calls my sweet elderly van.

To celebrate this sunny Sunday feeling I just drew from the shelves a book about Ralph Waldo Emerson.

 I remember the day I bought this book. My kids were 6, 11 and 13 and it was the first day of summer.

In my ever-flowering optimism I actually thought I’d have time to read this 600-page tome about the life of one of my heroes.

I also recall vividly how I was walking through the mall parking lot already greedily paging through it when – wham! – I walked right into a bundle of two-by-fours protruding from the back of somebody’s pickup truck. I saw stars just like they do in the cartoons.

What does it mean? I thought at the time though I found out soon enough. It meant with kids 6 and 11 and 13 and no school for them to go to because school wouldn’t be in session again for months my future probably did NOT include a whole lot of lounging around reading the words of Emerson.

All that seems like it was just a second ago but it happened in 1990. Now, 22 years later, I pulled out the book and here in its pages are the sweetest little accounts the man wrote about his children as babies. I had no idea he had such a tender side.

I can quote some of them here tomorrow. For now, I can’t stop reading, because you know old Holly Hunter in his sweatshirt could get up any minute.

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