bunt sign

Friday, January 11, 2002

If the promise of an early spring isn't fulfilled, I'm going to be unhappy about it. Yes, we've had a lot of rain, but no frost, and the camellias are blooming and the robins are back. I won't like it much if we suddenly get hail the size of wiffle balls or if the few leaves that have clung to the limbs of the birch since changing color in the last days of summer now at this late hour begin to blow away.

The robins are what pushed me over the edge. I haven't seen them in my yard yet, but they were all along Sebastopol Road this morning, plucking red berries out of the hedge-clipped bushes that line the sidewalk. Not just a few, either, but dozens of birds. They must not have recognized me, though, because they made it clear they didn't want me walking there. Oh, the protests I heard. If they had hands, they would have been clenched at their sides, or pointing crooked fingers at me as I went by. I pretended not to mind.

Although it hasn't rained enough to measure in the last few days, there's still dew on the grass in the middle of the afternoon. The light is filtered through clouds, and the shadows seem long, as if it's always late and the sun is always getting ready to settle into the ocean beyond the western hills. But as if to make up for this, the actual afternoon is now extending into what a week ago was the early evening. Reading is now possible by natural light in the loft as late as five o'clock. Well, 4:30 maybe, and there's no grace period, but still. That's a hopeful sign, isn't it?

When the fax machine came alive at 3:45 this afternoon, I moaned. I confess freely that I was gearing down at that point, coasting toward the weekend. I don't know why I wasn't poised expectantly for one more assignment. The Boss apparently does his best thinking late in the day on Friday, because this happens every week. I've even mentioned it to him. I think I've even written about it.

Nevertheless, when a draft arrives, it demands to be typed and edited. I typed it, but I didn't do a lot of editing. I can't let something go out with improper grammar or misspelled words, but I didn't really care if this letter made sense. It wasn't complete anyway, having blanks scattered here and there where amounts were to be added later. That's why it didn't matter if I, unlike the Boss, perform better at almost any other time than Friday afternoon.

Apparently the third revision was good enough, because that was the last I heard from him. Either it was good enough, or it was as far as even he wanted to push it today. Or maybe, just maybe, he realized that he was taking me a few microns past my limit and found himself willing to save my efforts for a better time. This is possible, however out of character such thoughtfulness from him would be.


My green, green yard in early January.

I don't actually expect spring to burst through the heavy, foggy air before its appointed time. I do expect the winter to stay mild and for it not to rain for twenty straight days again. I don't expect to keep my job confined to the designated hours. I do expect that once in awhile I'll have a few moments when the sun's appearance coincides with my not having so much work that I can't enjoy it. That's not too much to ask.

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