Tuesday, June 21, 2005

A Solstice Birthday

It’s the solstice, the summer solstice, longest day and shortest night of the whole year. Seems like we could celebrate. But it is hot and humid and sticky and rainy and we are so busy. Too busy.

We walked, nowhere special, just down the street where we live. We saw pink spirea in flower, and the dogwoods with the attenuate petals. The puddles on the sidewalks and the baby bunnies out on the clipped lawns in the shadows looking for the plants that the Chemlawn sprayers kill.

It is 9:30 and starting to get dark. Outside the window, the robins are singing for rain. Upstairs, Keith is paying bills. Earlier he was working on the brakes of my car. Before that, he was working. Work working. When he came home, I served him supper. I made meatloaf, a broccoli and cheese casserole (yes, with fake cheese on mine), and raisin molasses bran scones. Nothing special for the solstice.

We did nothing special for father’s day, either. It passed like any other day.

Today is the solstice. It is also my daughter’s birthday. 31 years ago today, I gave birth to the most beautiful baby in the world. Or so it seemed to me at the time. And then the smartest. The fastest-developing baby. The earliest walker. She turned out pretty good. I’m proud of her!

I try to call her. On the way to the phone, I step on something sharp at the edge of the rug. It pierces my foot. I dial anyway. She’s not there. I hope when they check the caller ID and she sees my number listed, she’ll know it means happy birthday.

What I was doing today, among other things, was trying to catch up with my serial story, Discovery at Little Hog Island. I made some progress. But I didn’t catch up.

Keith comes downstairs and mixes himself a drink. Outside the window, everything from the treetops down looks black. But the sky is still faintly orange and not dark enough for stars. What I’d like is a bowl of sorbet with fresh fruit. But I will have to settle for a glass of water.

For the solstice, we could light a single candle to symbolize a one-candle night. But we probably won’t.

Keith asks me if I want him to read to me. We are reading The Mermaid Chair. He puts his palms lovingly on the sides of my chest, from the back. His palms are warm and communicate great love. I say I would like him to read to me. He says he will wait upstairs.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005; 9:44 PM

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