My daughter told me she found a turtle the dogs were barking at. She carried it to the edge of the woods and let it go. I told her I wanted to see it and we walked to where she left it. She was surprised it wasn’t still right there. How long ago did you leave it, I asked. Just a few minutes, she said. Turtles can move pretty quick when they want to, I told her.
When people ask me what we’ve been up to, the question that usually follows, How have you been doing? I find myself without an answer, or maybe without a good one. We have been doing a fair amount of baseball, but it’s manageable. We spend a bit of time doing school. We run errands and have doctor’s appointments just like the rest of the world. We try to spend some time with friends, walk our dogs, go to the library, have our family over for lunch on Sunday, and have a meal at a restaurant now and then.
And yet I still find plenty of time to meander, to hide in my shell when I need to.
We’ve spent a lot of quality time bird watching and some time bird drawing, but sometimes just sitting on the porch watching cars go by. We’re reading aloud a new book, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, and I find plenty of time to watch Mad Men once or twice each week. Sometimes it deserves a second viewing. We eat supper together and some nights we make dessert too.
Often the house is too messy, the laundry is behind, and the groceries disappear entirely too fast.
The kids get loud, they fuss, I can’t wait for them to go to sleep. I count the minutes.
Then the next day the sun shines, a breeze blows, they drag out sheets and blankets and make a tent in the yard, have friends over. And all afternoon I hear laughter while I change out laundry and sit on the porch, and for a moment I know what we’ve been up to all along is the magic of a slow, beautiful life.