It’s dark outside at five p.m. these days. The sunsets are orange, the sunrises weak over Lake Michigan. I got my winter coat out for the first time last Sunday, and even wore gloves. I swept the garage, sucked up the spider webs in the basement. We dug up the last beets in the garden and covered the carrots.
My neighbor’s chickens have come to visit our bare garden plot, kicking up the leaves over the carrots in search of bugs and scratching in the cold dirt of the hole my husband dig for the compost in winter. There are huge Buff Orpingtons, black fancy chickens with silky feathers, leghorns and something that could be part Barred Rock. They root around like little pigs and my husband and I enjoy watching them.
I tried to save a begonia that leafed and budded after the summer drought. I brought it inside, watered it and set it near a register in the bathroom where it got warmth and light. It dried up. Thankfully hubby never said anything, just work around it. I cut down and put away the amaryllis bulbs, hoping they’ll get the rest they need before we try to force them in a few months.
Isifted through my cookie recipes, think about the holidays coming up, shopping, gifts, a couple of book fairs, deer hunting. Cranberry white chocolate walnut cookies are pretty good.
I picked up a calendar for 2013, ready to fill it, but I’ve also been reading Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s Gift From the Sea for book club. It’s about living more simply and taking an hour of alone time. I am alone all day, but I realize I don’t take “alone” time and feel guilty if I do. I have to get over that, and I know I have to give up some of the things I’ve been frantically doing over the last few years of full-time writing.
The darkness, quiet, sunsets, and empty garden, but for the chickens, is a good time in the Midwest to take a breath, think about things, put other things into perspective.
When do you take the time to stop, settle back, take some time that’s just for you and your daydreams?