Written on 4/26/2020
Sunday morning. I am enjoying the light outside my window. There is a young avocado tree in the neighbor’s yard whose small leaves are a lovely greenish-yellow and flutter in the very slight breeze. Past that is a segment of a redwood. I can see its trunk right up to the first few branches before it is blocked by my window shades. The sky is visible only in patches, through the redwood branches.
The pressure of shelter-in-place is increasing my capacity for contemplation to the extent that the leaf of an avocado tree might easily be the day’s most exciting encounter.
I reflect on the day’s plans: a couple of walks around the block, perhaps a brief Zoom meeting with some cousins, a movie on TV. For days (weeks?) now, I’ve spent hours (eight or nine) just sitting at my desk, surfing the internet. Mostly on Facebook. It is not much of a life, really, and I’m thinking I’d like to exercise some discipline and get away from the computer, but that frightens me. What will I be if I do nothing? I consider whether I might spend the entire day walking outside. I never thought such a thing was possible unless I were “going for a hike.” But why not just walk?
With no work, no income, no expectations and no demands, the possibilities to lean and loaf are legion.
And by way of a footnote and learning something new every day: If you google the phrase “lean and loaf” you will get numerous references to lean meatloaf before you stumble upon Walt Whitman.