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The Day’s Delight: Sitting One Out

I slept hard at the edge of McFarland Lake. I’d driven up intending to swim, but the breeze was swift and kept drawing picturesque but shady clouds across the sun.

I woke suddenly, hot from a longer stretch of blue sky, out of a dream set exactly where I was. It was meaningful, the dream story, something about getting in the water, and my ex, and a usually-chipper co-worker finally being done putting up with someone’s shit.

I did go in the water, but only up to my ankles. I’m far more of a believer in being gentle with oneself than pushing, if that’s what’s called for, and I’m so exceptionally tired from moving and late-night bunk bed building and the great, fundamental shift of my life, despite the fact that I never doubt it’s for the better.

It was good to drive all the way out there and then to just sit, just sleep, just lie on the ground and hear the water splashing at the shore. It was good to pass between old growth white pines, to feel moved by love, to have to go slower on the long dirt road than I could on the tar.

I have said for some time that what I’m up to, what I want for my life, is to listen, be present, be responsive. I enjoy that a lot when my response is Sparkly; when this invisible dance partner winds up and flings me overhead in a spectacular move that has me let out a whoop. But this is also being responsive. This slow dance, this moment that sometimes feels like “sitting it out.”

You can’t dance all the time. And you don’t need to. There’s more good music to come and the night is long, and this partner, this collaborator is such a good lead.

So, don’t fight it. Feel out this new rhythm. Pack your swimsuit, be ready for that favorite song and a second wind; and equally, when you’re standing in the shadows (or sitting on the shore), see the beauty of the other figures moving, swaying, taking their turn in the heat and the sweat and the bright light. Drive yourself home– early, if you like, though who decides what’s early and what’s late?– and know you got exactly what you came for.


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