Would you like to know what is good for the soul? Well, people, I’ll tell you. It is to spend the best part of a warm and sunny late-summer day looking at pretty much exactly this view from the front porch of the Manse.
To spend that time appreciating the fact that it finally is warm and sunny again, the weather having been unseasonably cold and drear for much of the past week.
To have, for the first time in a while, no immediate obligations (aside from the usual household ones) to fulfill.
To be able to catch up on several weeks’ worth of news in the local papers.
And perhaps best of all, to enjoy the sight of three very active little boys enjoying the day in their turn – two of them carrying around their treasured containers of earthworms, and all of them quite excited to watch their granddad working hard with his chainsaw, trimming some branches off a tree just down the street.
The sight of those carefree little lads enjoying the best of summer in Queensborough, not to mention the buzz of that chainsaw, reminded me so much of me and my sister and brothers in our own much younger days, so long ago, in this same little place: running and exploring around the village, collecting caterpillars or earthworms or frogs or toads, free as little birds and happy as little clams. And the soundtrack was often my dad‘s chainsaw as he ensured we had firewood for the winter to come.
Now that I am much older and, though probably no wiser, at least more aware of the need for such carefree times, it is good for the soul to experience something like them once again. Thanks to peace and quiet, and a chance to rest, and three very happy little boys.