Staring at Summer

Downtime is the greatest type of time. Ideally, there’s nothing to do. Nobody ever talks about “uptime”. Curious, isn’t it?

The summer has already started, which means that there’s time for me to fill. After finishing a course over the next three weeks, the wait to teach high school will begin. My dad said that he’d like to come for a visit in August, but he’s not sure when; that should be a good time. Other than that, my summer is pretty open.

Here's a picture I found in my archives of baskets in the wind.
Here’s a picture I found in my archives of baskets in the wind.

It’d be fun to do some fly fishing, so hopefully my sister will remember to send me my gear. It’s meditative, which is probably good for me.

In the run up to summer, plans were flying through my head. Write. Read. Fly fish. Course. Gym; get HUGE. Cook. Eat well. Bake. Explore. Learn French. Cycle. Drive. Camp. Garden. Clean. Live frugally. Baseball games. Decorate. Walk. Date.

Instead, the days start and end late, and little is accomplished in the middle. It’s amazing how much time can pass before something happens or is accomplished, and how many days in a row you can sustain yourself on premade, frozen perogies. It’s downtime.

Ten days is enough. The summer has to be more productive and fruitful. Imagine a summer spent doing next to nothing? Yes, it can be imagined. Looks glorious, doesn’t it?

It’s comparable to drinking: it feels great at the time, but the hangover hurts. Looking back, you wonder, “How did I waste so much time?”

There is something glorious about the silence of space and mind. There are no bells signalling a transition. There are no children running around and yelling. There’s no yelling at children. There’s no worry about who just got hit in the head with a ball while playing a game involving a flying ball. Nobody is crying. Well, that depends on if tears are a necessary condition for crying.

In short, the focus of my concern is different. My concerns are largely my own. No one, really, is the object of my concern except for me. This change is only made apparent because it hasn’t been the case for nearly ten months and now is. Until tomorrow, there’s nothing pressing to do. In three weeks, there’ll be nothing pressing to do.

All there is to do is stare at summer, and see what comes my way.


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