So, your neighbour (she who is not talking to you since you put up the fence), when one of her chickens wanders through your house (in the front door, and out the back, having a right nose round on the way) and then lays an egg on your porch before disappearing – do you own the egg? Can you eat it? Or should you return it because you don’t own the chicken? These are just some of the first-world questions plaguing me this week.
We finally succumbed and bought a wrought iron garden bench made by a blacksmith who is a regular stallholder at Liliomkert market over in Káptalantóti. We’ve hovered and hummed and hawed each time we’ve seen him and his benches. Similar, garden-variety, mass-produced stuff is nearly as expensive so we bit the nail and bought. He dropped it by on Friday. Which meant that the bench in residence under the cherry tree had to move upstairs to the guest room and the bench that was there had to move out, down to the kitchen. Which meant the fridge had to move to make room.
It’s been the bones of two days now, and still, each time I go to the fridge, I head to the wrong corner. Every time. Without exception. It’s as if I’ve been programmed. And this set me thinking about how much other stuff I do on automatic pilot, without thinking. I find it terribly difficult to be present and yet know, deep down, that if I could master the art, I’d save myself wasted hours, days, and weeks in wondering whether I’d turned off the oven, locked the door, remembered my passport. I’d know, because I’d have been consciously doing whatever I was doing. It sounds so simple yet I can count on one hand those I know who manage it, daily.
I’ve been doing, doing, doing for what seems like forever. I left himself in residence when I went to the city to meet friends from Alaska earlier in the week whom I’d not seen in, what, 15 years? Their plane had been a day late so they missed out on the Balaton trip and instead contented themselves with a couple of days in the capital. He was delighted to have a few days without a to-do list. I’d been pretty relentless. Never sitting. Never enjoying. Constantly doing. I have this thing about not wasting time. I’ve lost a few very dear friends in recent years and I’m very conscious that time is limited. But methinks I take it too far.
The lovely RM and family came to visit on Friday. On their way down, she crocheted me a watermelon prayer flag for the terrace. She had two hours to spend in the car and that time she put to good use. It’s beautiful. And it hangs where I can see it, next to my Pura Vida sign from Costa Rica and my Namaste, a present from CG from Nepal – a daily reminder that I need to spend my time more wisely. And for that reminder, and those who contributed, I’m grateful.