Heat harvest

I keep trying to write a post - lots of drafts - nothing post-ready. I'll blame it on the (slowly abating) heat we've been having. I have been too warm for so long that my eyes feel like I got a sunburn and then stayed out too late. My office needs to be cleaned out and paperwork needs to be handled, but I'll need a day that isn't dripping with sweat first. As I glance around at things that need sorting and tossing and filing and such, I note that I put a post-it on the wall that says:

Office Needs
pencil sharpener (bring from kitchen?)

large wall planner
need not to be interrupted

Now where did I think I was going to get that last one, I wonder?

Memories of school clothes shopping and sewing always come to me in this sort of heat. It was hot work, sewing clothes out of Pendleton wool in the summertime. And that may only have happened once. Other years had less wool in them, I think.

The Pendleton wool year included my favorite color in the universe, though. It's a kind of dark aqua color - deep teal - a shade darker than my eyes - the color of deep ocean water and the sunset sky right after the purple fades but before the sky turns all the way to black. The color of these beads. I think we made a jumper that year - for wearing with white blouses.

My office holds summer's heat, and all this paperwork I need to do, and books I've been meaning to read. But it has started to hold something else, as well. It has started to hold prayer offices, said in full view of "my" mountains and trees and sky; and the consecrating blessing of struggles over the writing I've been doing for school and for my own clarity; and the echoes of conversations with my now-adult children, at college, in their own apartments, and even far away clothed in soldier's clothes.

Maybe that's what it takes for a place to become part of who we are. Maybe it has to witness our tears as well as our more benign and perfunctory work, and maybe a place cannot really belong to us until we have been there for refuge and triumph. My office is a mess right now. It's okay, though. Lots of organically productive things look messy - especially right before a seasonal harvest.

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