A Day in a Life. Journal entry 5.14.17

“Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans."
 ~Allen Saunders (but often inaccurately attributed to John Lennon)

I wake before the alarm goes off,
and I lay there for a few minutes.
When I go downstairs I turn on the coffee maker.
The dogs scurry about.
They act as if they haven't seen me in 8 years instead of 8 hours.
I feed them.
Franklin, the finicky one, just looks at me.
I have to feed him a couple pieces of food by hand to get him started.
Coffee ready and dogs in the backyard,
I check emails, the NY Times, and scroll Facebook.
Looking at the clock I realize I'm running late for church,
and I'm scheduled as head usher.
Showered, I wheel one of the bikes down the plank on the porch,
and when I do I notice a tulip in a neighbor's yard.
It's withered.
Just yesterday it was in full bloom.
Nothing is permanent, I think to myself.
I snap it's photo.
As I pedal to church the air feels good.
It's chilly but the sun is out.
It's Mother's Day, and during worship the pastor speaks of mothers.
I think of my mother, who left us too soon.
I think of a specific time and tears well in my eyes.
I hold back tears as I ready myself for collection.
So many years later and I still feel.
I am grateful.
On my way home I stop at a coffee shop,
to read and write.
But it's crowded and I can't focus,
so I leave.
I have an egg sandwich for lunch and feed the dogs pieces of the crust.
I lay down and am surprised that I fall asleep for just a few minutes.
After a few stretches I sit on a cushion in front of the small altar,
which is off to the side of the room.
I pray, 
asking mostly for guidance.
Then I meditate for a few minutes.
I have to pick up photos from a show that came down last week.
But it's raining, so I make coffee and scroll Facebook,
and wait.
I use my large bike, and a trailer, to retrieve the photos.
The gallery is about two miles away, and I push hard into a strong headwind.
I huff and puff but know that the wind will be at my back on return.
The reward.
Pushing the bike up the plank I notice the tulip again.
Now is all we have.
I switch bikes,
to a shorter one,
then head to the JCC for a steam and swim.
I love riding this particular bike,
but there is an incessant click in the crank,
and it's gotten louder.
The street is slow and crowded,
I keep pace with traffic,
but I pull over to the side to inspect the sound.
When I do the person behind me beeps
and yells an obscenity out their window.
I make eye contact as they pass and say nothing.
I feel sorry for them.
Angry and saddled to their car.
When I swim it feels good.
In the buoyancy of the water nothing aches.
The steam room feels even better.
I have leftovers for dinner.
Rice-and-beans with roast vegetables.
My dogs stare at me while I eat.
I don't give them any; they've had their meal.
It's still early so I decide to stop out for a couple beers.
As I pass my neighbor's I notice the tulip again.
It's beautiful, even in its weathered and wilted state.
A snapshot of life, I suppose.
Real life.
I walk to the tavern.
It's still light outside but dark inside.
The first sip of beer tastes good.
If fizzes across my tongue.
When I return home my dogs greet me as if I've been gone for two days.
I sit on the floor and let them crawl all over me.
This is now, I think.
Tomorrow is tomorrow.
Another day in a life.
But now is now.
And it's beautiful.
But sometimes I need reminders.
To remember.
To return to now.
And that's okay.

“Every moment and every event of every person's life on earth plants something in their soul."
~Fr. Thomas Merton