My daughters have dubbed the day “Bunnyween!” We don’t really celebrate Easter, but have a happy one if you do. Bunnyween is a gateway to a new year. The new year of spring-summer-fall.
A trip to Texas is scheduled for us this evening, so that’s what I’ll be doing for the second half of my day. For the first half I’ll be working to prepare for the trip. Pretty much what I’ve been doing for weeks. I have to be honest, either this pace ends soon or I do. Put tersely. Some people like to always be pressed for time, to be trying to do big things with not enough resources. I don’t mind it, for a time. But when there are weeks, months and even years of this sort of activity in a row, you have to wonder whether there ought to be more to life. When you work smart, you can have bursts of working hard and do amazing things. When you just work hard all the time, you can’t have bursts of working smart because you’re working too hard. And all that this accomplishes is that you can boast to other people about how hard you’re working and how busy you are. But they’re not really impressed, I don’t think. They probably just think you’re a poor planner.
I don’t want to look busy all the time. It’s not conducive to reflection. When I’m not reflecting, the fun part of my brain goes to sleep. When I’m busy the opportunity to come up with great ideas seems to evaporate.
We started in with the frenetic pace sometime last March, I think, after JK spoke to me about all the challenges that were ahead. And we didn’t know the half of them. And just like that, the summer disappeared. As Manny used to say “how many summers do you have left?” We’d sit on the shore next to the Waverunner, watching people put their boats in the water.
Sometimes it was entertainment enough to just watch who turned out at the boat ramp. The guy with the cigarettes and the sneakers who didn’t want to get his sneakers wet. He tried to throw them to his pals on board, who probably already had a couple of beers in them judging by the way they were loading the cooler. The shoes and the smokes sailed in a perfect arc over the stern of the motorboat and splashed into the shallow water on the ramp.
The gals who looked made up as if they were spending the day on a fancy shopping trip. No hats to protect from the sun, not a stitch of practical clothing. At least the hair was right. Enough hair spray that the bangs stood up straight in the front, it would likely stay put at motorboat speeds.
You could sit there all day and watch people putting in. The kayakers. The motor boats. The jet skis. Every so often, the people who were in some sort of jam and had some grand plan to get out of it — which never worked. Of course, we had been in similar situations. Usually our plans were at least creative when they were completely daft. Nothing is worse than a bad run-of-the-mill plan.
There’s a real summer. Dodging inconsequential obligations to disappear from the world. The opportunity to get wet, and perhaps require stitches. Situations where you tell your companion to go full throttle, and then scaring yourself senseless because you realize he’s going to do it, and you didn’t consider whether you could actually hold on to the inner tube.
Well, it’s one sort of summer anyhow. Another sort is spent out with the kids, discovering amazing scenic places that were always there right under your nose. Hunting for hidden things on wooded walks. Climbing rocks and making your own walking stick. Fridays off and going to every museum you could; having a summer curriculum for the kids. As recent as two summers ago there was a summer like that. Not dodging responsibility, just giving your responsibility to life its proper respect.
Last summer had its bright points; old and new friends. A baseball game. But. Well. Sometimes I can still feel the hot sauce in my tummy. Enough said about last summer.
How many summers left? I guess nobody knows. But when summer comes around, you ought to “Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.” - Henry David Thoreau.
But on this Bunnyween, I’m off to the Lone Star State. Dallas, to be precise. I’ll be back in a little over a day. Barely time to smell the air. This business travel thing is really weird. Plane to hotel to all-day-meeting to hotel to plane. A palindrome of fun! But this is the culmination of a ton of work. We can only hope it’s fruitful.
A wise person once told me, “overtime is always followed by down time.” I’m ready to climb down from a year of constant “critical time.” Maybe I need to start scheduling these things! Friday we’re going to the Boston Museum of Science. That’s a good start. Time to grab the budding season and wrestle it to the ground!Posted by James at April 16, 2006 9:40 AM