Defining–again–a perfect day

A guitar is plucking old tunes from its strings, and the sounds are trickling down the hall to where I sit here in the office.

George is rehearsing with a singer who stops by once a week or so. I think they might be doing a recording eventually. For now, they decorate the air waves in my house and all I have to do is sit quietly and enjoy.

These are among the things that contribute to perfect days. For a while now I’ve been trying to define what a perfect day consists of. I have finally decided it’s not WHAT occurs, but rather, my own attitude, and whether I appreciate ordinary things.

It’s too vague just to say it, though. Better to give some examples. So, here are the things that are making this a perfect day.

  • Work is done. We were up at 4 a.m. for our twice a week, part-time job, and now we’re finished. The day stretches out with no obligations.
  • Related to that–I finished and submitted a freelance article yesterday, one that I’m pleased with. Today I get to bask in the feeling of another job crossed off my list.
  • It was a heavily foggy morning.

    Photo by George Sawyn

    The bay was shrouded so thickly that we couldn’t make out the opposite side. Only the lights from the shipyard pierced the mist, like giant stars come to earth. Crossing the Michigan Street Bridge, the green lights reflected in the damp pavement, and no other cars interrupted the scene. There was peace.

  • When we arrived home, three crows waited for us, one in the tree, two in the yard. It wasn’t an accident. We feed them every day, and we were a bit late. There’s something endearing about expectant crows.
  • I saw other expectant critters: a chipmunk on our railing, a nuthatch in the feeder, blue jays screeching from the tree, squirrels foraging in the leaves, and chickadees darting in and out in their peripatetic fashion. All because we put feed out for them. Sometimes I just stand at the window, watching and smiling and loving all of them.
  • I’ve had time to read some articles online, articles that both challenge and inspire me in this Year of Faith declared by Pope Benedict XVI. So many good things to read, so little time! (Sounds like a t-shirt slogan.) But today I have the time.
  • The fallen leaves are nearly up to Lady’s belly under some trees, and it was sweet to watch her beagle-bouncing through them, sniffing her way along our after-lunch walk. Only a dog would recognize the possibility of finding treasures under autumn’s detritus.

    Photo by Monica Sawyn

    I didn’t sniff, but I did snap, and I think some of those pictures will turn out well.

  • The wash is done, the bills are paid, clothes are folded and put away, our main meal is done, with only a snack to be fixed at supper time. I have time for possibilities! Write letters, read books, work on Christmas presents, pray my novena, play backgammon with George. Maybe even write a blog! My time is mine, and after a lifetime of crowded deadlines, and too many interviews, phone calls and schedules, that is no small gift.

For now, the music is still wafting down the hall. I can end this blog, post it, and enjoy whatever is next on my list. It may not define YOUR perfect day, but it surely does mine.

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About Monica Sawyn

I'm a retired newspaper reporter/columnist, and although I still freelance, I miss the weekly column I used to write. I still "see columns" in everyday life and need a place to put them after they're written--thus, this blog. I'm Catholic, have been a Benedictine oblate since 1977, and live with my husband and our beagle in Sturgeon Bay, Wis. When I'm not writing, I'm probably reading, sewing, taking photos or walking the dog.
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2 Responses to Defining–again–a perfect day

  1. Monica, I can appreciate the feeling of accomplishment when a new post on a blog is done. And the feeling of having crossed everything off one’s to-do list is a rare thing — and wonderful. Eric

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