The Joys of Idleness


The joys of idleness are best appreciated after intense busyness. Busyness includes: working with a volunteer party to build a new trail on your day off; working with your own crew to finish a project; dealing with federal bureaucracy to acquire new tires for the crew’s pickup after an unexpected, unrepairable blowout; wading through the swamp of contractor-built federal software to claim reimbursement for travel expenses (gr!); signing timesheets; planting a new flowerbed; packing up to attend a regional training session in central Oregon (8 hours of driving); assisting with that training; coming back from central Oregon (8 hours of driving).

How delightful to drag the dirty laundry up to the tiny house, drop it there, greet the cat and stumble off to bed. Hours later, how delightful to raise up from pillows to bright sunlight and patter down from the loft for tea and journal. How delightful to not do anything else. I read a book, John Daniel’s Rogue River Journal. He spent the winter of 2000 alone in a cabin above the Rogue River, reading old letters and trying to see into his father’s life. In doing so, he saw into his own life. The descriptions of southern Oregon mountains and rivers stir language about these northern Washington rivers and mountains where I find myself. Like Daniel, I had an alcoholic father who is no longer around. Unlike him, I have no letters, no relatives of his generation who can help me unravel who he was. It’s a compelling read, even without the parallels.

When the sun went behind the hill, I wandered out to the garden to visit the resident black widow spiders while spraying tomato plants with the hose. These spiders make me uneasy, but I can’t squish ’em. Not yet anyway. I will see how it goes. The tomatoes are growing in great gallops.

This morning I wrote for awhile, then walked down the hill to the main part of Twisp. This has become a Sunday ritual. The bakery has wifi. I can loiter here as long as I like, nibbling on handmade bakery fare and twiddling around on the computer. Idleness!

It’s Sunday afternoon, the temperature is in the 90s and I still haven’t tackled that dirty laundry. There are a few more hours of idleness before I return to busyness. I think I’ll find some shade and read some more. And I hereby declare: This Week I Am Going Out On a Trail!

One thought on “The Joys of Idleness

  1. You are such a great poet and appreciator of the subtleties of life! I just love reading your blog, and I envy you for being able to bring balance to that job. I’ve been having trouble sending you email lately, not sure why. I’ll try your work address again. Continue having a good time!!

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