Looks like the beautiful Pacific Northwest weather we've been having has kept me outdoors and not blogging or doing much more at the computer than answering critical e-mails. I set up a card table on the front lawn and have been writing about clouds on my internet-free laptop.
Here's what happened on June 3rd on the Cloud Book front: I had a cup of coffee, went to my morning yoga class where I was instructed to "be, like, rully presunt." I came home, fixed a second cup of coffee, and set up my front-yard office--laptop, cellphone, stack of books on clouds. I starting taking notes from the books. I was watching clouds. I was watching the bees in the garden. I was listening to the buzz and feeling the sun. I challenged myself to watch a single cloud for five minutes. I messed with my cell-phone alarm feature. I tipped my head back and chose a small cloud floating over the house. I watched it change and dissipate from it's leading edge. I glanced at my cellphone clock. I looked back up at the cloud. I ran inside to get my polarizing sunglasses. I watched my cloud.
There was some commotion in front of my house. A friend of my 15-year-old son had stopped by to show my son his new skate board. They were chatting in the driveway. I didn't want them to think I was eccentric sitting there staring at the sky ignoring them, so I stood up and went over to say a brief "hi" and "cool board!"
And when the five-minute alarm went off, there I was on my hands and knees in my garden, looking down at the dirt, weeding.
Five minutes. I couldn't even give a cloud five minutes. When was I going to learn how to pay attention?
I returned to my work table, there among the bright-yellow yarrow, buzzing purple catmint, foxglove, chamomile, rhododendron, and patch of warm green grass. There in the garden, poised at my laptop, I felt my story. It was as if my muse--wandering behind me like a shadow for the past few years--put one hand on my shoulder and, with the other, handed me my book.
Overwhelmed, I stood up, went inside, and starting making a strawberry-rhubard crisp. Quick. Read the simple directions. Follow the recipe. Cut. Stir. Mix. Bake. One hour. From this moment on, nothing you create will be this easy or this delicious.