Friday, July 15, 2011
A Day Too Beautiful To Waste
"Get off the couch and go outside. You're not going to sit inside and waste this beautiful day!"
Lisa protested, reluctantly unfolding her legs from beneath her. She slowly rose from the couch, still holding her book open in front of her face even as her mother pushed the vacuum closer and closer to Lisa's feet. The rubber bumper of the machine kissed her heels and Lisa stumbled forward. "Go!" her mother commanded again.
Lisa tucked a 'Hang In There' kitten bookmark into her book and gave the novel one last lingering glance before she resignedly put on her shoes and opened the back door. The heat hit her immediately, as did the brightness. She heard her mother's vacuum roaring furiously in the next room now and closed the door behind her. She stepped off the stoop directly into the sunlight.
The meadow before her buzzed with frenzied insects. Just looking at the tall grass made Lisa itch. She shielded her eyes with her hand and peered through the blinding sunshine for a spot in the shade. She trudged toward the tree and checked the bark for spiders. A few ants diligently scurried along the bark, but Lisa didn't see any spiders. She dropped to the ground and sat in the shade, careful to keep her back from touching the tree.
She stared out into the meadow before her. What was she supposed to do? She wished she'd brought her book outside. She could have read in the shade, but she knew her mother expected her to play. Don't waste this beautiful day, she said every time it was sunny. Lisa grew to hate sunny days. Always forced to partake of eye-aching sunshine that produced quick sunburns and heat rashes, Lisa equated summer days with guilt. She never enjoyed them and ended up 'wasting' every one. She much preferred the low-key expectations of rainy days in fall when she didn't waste a single minute sitting outside under a tree, but stayed inside near a window, reading her book.