Yesterday I posted on Facebook (which years ago I let seduce me from this blog even though all I give in return is short descriptions of a moment here and there, farts of inspiration and nothing of real thought-filled follow-through). Ahem. Sunday evening I posted on Facebook that it had been a particularly good weekend. This evening, during my somewhat daily meditational drift while watching the sprinkler in the back yard, I thought about what made me say particularly good, and I realized that it was -- to me -- the perfect balance of planned and unplanned. Enough structure for the framework but plenty of room to ad lib.
Meet a friend for hours of horse talk, champagne and bacon (with blue cheese!) on a Friday afternoon? Particularly good, I thought, as we sat on the patio and bantered about the hunter/jumper show circuit, old barns vs. new barns, Pennsylvania and New York barns vs. Kentucky and Tennessee barns. Versus Texas barns (An obvious loss) The ceiling fans were high above and slow-moving but the breeze curled across our patio table and the temperature was in the low 80s and I could have sat there all afternoon. But, structure.
I was sitting for two dogs this weekend, one at my house and one at a friend's house. I was also looking after my great niece, the five-year old, that evening. I told her we needed to go feed my friend's dog (structure) but to put on her bathing suit because we could go swimming while there (ad lib). And she swam and searched for lizards and helped me water my friend's back yard, and swam some more. Then we went home and strung beaded bracelets and necklaces (structure).
I told her we would bake cupcakes on Saturday (structure) and when she woke up five minutes after I did at the crack of dawn that morning, we took off to the grocery store for what ended up being way too many jars of sprinkles but she is five and, well, who gives a shit how many jars of sprinkles I have in my pantry? (Ad lib) She picked out pink ones and red ones and silver ones and rainbow ones and her excitement each time I said, "Okay, put it in the cart," thrilled me to my core. (Benefit of ad-libbing).
Saturday rolled lazily and happily into Sunday. I dropped my nephew and his daughter at the museum (structure) in the late morning, rang up a friend and met her at her house to help her with a marketing task (ad lib). We wrapped that up in no time, popped the cork on a bottle of champagne and sat on her balcony and talked and talked while people walked their dogs on the sidewalk below and bees buzzed around the white flowers on her Basil plant.
Then it was time to pick up my nephew and the five-year old. We headed home to coloring and more jewelry making and a short nap taken by my exhausted nephew. Sunday evening, my house was filled with much silliness and giggles, alphabet singing, counting, and reading of everyone's friend, Dr. Seuss. As I sat on the couch after dinner and listened to my nephew negotiate with his daughter the optimal number of cupcakes to be consumed after dinner, (she's skilled, so she won and got to eat two but only the top part with the icing. Because, sprinkles) I closed my eyes and thought, particularly good.