One of the joys of working from this riverside cottage is that in the midst of my daily stint slaving over a keyboard, while trying to herd words into sentences that resonate with poetry instead of falling onto the pixel page as though made of lead, I can always glance out my deskside window at flower beds, various trees, what passes for a lawn, and the sparkling river beyond.
Of course this blessing is also a sort of curse when it comes to getting work done and meeting deadlines. Quite regularly I find myself staring meditatively through the glass at the beckoning world beyond. Being of the literary sort, I like to say I'm musing, but I'm really just daydreaming.
Alternately, I'll be typing away and a flash of movement catches my eye. I look up, check out whatever it was that distracted me, perhaps grab camera or binoculars…and when I eventually return to my patient iMac, the little digital clock says I've just frittered away twenty minutes! Do this a few dozen times and that article or column which should have taken an hour or so to write has gobbled up most of the day!
No, don't bother suggesting I install a window blind. There's one already…and the last time it was lowered was when I tested it right after installation four years ago.
Equally pointless is any hint that I might at least show a bit more restraint regarding distractions and a shaky work ethic. I say temptation should at lest be considered, and providing it is not immoral, illegal, or fattening, probably given a whirl just to make sure it isn't something worthwhile. The interesting goings-on beyond the window are the main reason why I moved into this place, so why shouldn't they be given high priority?
Still…yesterday was a case in point of how pleasurably intrusive my window view can be, thanks to a steady stream of rubythroat hummingbirds who kept feeding on and fighting over a scarlet canna lily bloom located perhaps thirty inches beyond the glass.
The task at hand was a final revision of a column due on the editor's desk sometime during the day—a job which takes under an hour. I usually do a read-through right after breakfast, and have the piece polished, an accompanying letter written, and the whole package zapped off before I finish my coffee.
I've doubtless mentioned this before, but this summer there's been a rubythroat boom here along the river. I have out only two feeders filled with sugar water—same as last year and the summer before. Yet this time around the feisty little hummers have arrived in droves—squeaking, squabbling, zooming around like warp-speed warriors. As best I can count, there are at times—flying, feeding, and perched on twigs in the big box elder where I've hug the feeders—a dozen or more hummingbirds. And that's not counting any which might be investigating or sipping blooms in the nearby beds.
Too, the tiny birds—and especially the males—are probably now beginning the fueling process before their upcoming migration to wintering quarters in the tropics.
At any rate, a never-ending procession of hummers came to the canna lily bloom nearest the window yesterday—which provided countless minutes of exquisite distraction, lots of gaping in wonderment, and the occasional attempted photo op. I believe it was going on 2:30 p.m. when I finally manage to get my column off.
(And aren't you amazed? I had so much fun, I haven't once whined or griped about how near-impossible it was to get my camera to auto-focus through the glass, or how much I detested my messed-up vision with these malfunctioning contact lenses. Nope, not a single complaining word.)