Thursday, October 6, 2011

room temperature

Summer has been exhaling her last breaths around here, bequeathing to us some truly gorgeous days.

The biting bugs have mostly gone to rest, the sun warms but doesn't really burn, the breeze wafts the musky scents of autumn all over everything. What do you call days like this? Perfect? Heaven? There are no discomforts to speak of. No extremes. I can only sigh and term this a room-temperature day.

We tend to complain about the deep chill of winter. The suffocating heat of summer. But without the change of seasons, days like these wouldn't get a second glance. So I'll put on my coat in the winter. Retreat to the shade in the summer. And inject days like these straight into my bloodstream.


My two littles have been playing side by side all morning. Right now, they've devised some game that involves pouring water into a bucket until it overflows onto the picnic table and dribbles onto the ground. There's much excitement about placing another bucket under the waterfall and reusing the water in the first bucket. This process doesn't get old for a very, very long time.

I'm seated nearby, listening and watching. Thinking. Mostly on the periphery but easily drawn into their circle. The whole scene is so normal but I'm wrapping it carefully and tucking it into my pocket. Because this is one of those moments. The room-temperature kind.

No one is fighting. No one is demanding. There's no discord. Not between them. Not between us. I'm not trying to get something done. I'm not trying to hurry us in any direction. We're just here. In a moment of total comfort. I can't help but sigh.


Back inside, the temperature is a little cooler. I put on my sweater and make lunch. We move through the business of eating and getting out the door for preschool.

On the way home after drop off, little youngest finds much to be upset about. Everything, really. It's a long drive for me. Her noise assults my senses, the sun (what, that gentle sun?) beats through the windows and I'm cooking in this stupid sweater. I yell at her to PLEASE. STOP. CRYING. She doesn't.

I feel icy but at the boiling point. A short nap helps (me, not her). We carry on with the afternoon.

But yoga class helps even more. For all the usual reasons, of course -- the deep breathing, the turning inward, the stretching and strengthening and surrendering. But I'm also given a gift of sorts.

My teacher talks about the moon as a calming, soothing presence. And as we move through some moon salutations, she asks us to imagine a full moon lozenge, resting between our jaws. It shimmers on my tongue, never melting. I suck on it all the way home.

It tastes like coolness. Like shade. A balm for those extreme moments. A hint of those room-temperature ones.

I only have to remember to keep it in my mouth.