Somewhat reminiscent of Mama in her kerchief and Papa in his cap (The Night Before Christmas), I had just settled down on my back porch with a fresh brewed cup of coffee and Habit of Being, the 1000-plus page volume of Flannery O’Connor’s letters. I’ve been working my way through this tome ever since I read A Good Hard Look, a novel that’s already received pride of place on my Top 10 list for 2011. Anyway, I was all settled in for a quiet Sunday afternoon of reading. It’s a beautiful day here in Michigan, with a gentle breeze, and just perfect for reading outside. I even went so far as to slather my arms and ankles with mosquito repellent, because those nasty creatures have been particularly vicious lately.
After a few minutes, I become aware of the annoying buzz of a gas powered weed trimmer. It’s an all too present sound on the weekends here, where all the lots are at least 1/2 acre and filled with plenty of mature plants and trees. But it seemed to be drawing closer—who could it be? Suddenly, I head the familiar “klink” of my back gate, as the buzzzzz grows closer and closer. I look up, and there they are – my own lawn service, here a day early.
I love having a lawn service, but when they surprise my like that on a Sunday afternoon, I’m not overjoyed.
So I gathered up my book, my coffee, and my dog, and scooted in the house, where I began closing all the windows I had just gone around opening 30 minutes before. By the time I get all the windows closed, they’ll probably be just about finished. Still, the sound of lawnmowers and trimmers grates on my nerves like nails on a chalkboard.
Now I’m inside with my book, of which I’m about half way through. It has to go back to the library on Tuesday, so I either pick up the pace or cough up twenty-five cents a day in overdue fees until I do finish it. (It’s non-renewable, for some odd reason. I can’t imagine there’s a huge demand for 1000 pages of letters from Flannery O’Connor.)
O’Connor is quite a character. I’ve only read a few of her short stories, but her letters are, to me, a lot more interesting. Her personality really shines through, and I feel as if I’m sitting on her back porch drinking some of her mother’s lemonade, listening to her southern voice and the screech of the her peacocks in the background.
Which, come to think of it, would probably be just as annoying as the whine from that gas powered trimmer.
How about you? Is your Sunday peaceful and quiet, or has it been corrupted with noise from the outside world?