I have the day off today; when your schedule is only 24 hours a week, it is easier to slide one in every now and then. It promises to be a humid but cooler day than we have had for some time. All the same, I walked to the library first thing this morning before it got any warmer.
Going to the library is like walking into a garden this time of year. My garden (overgrown, wild green mass that it is this summer) is just starting to get serious about churning out tomatoes. I go out to pick the three ripe ones I saw earlier, but in bending over to pluck them, I see another! And another! And oh, look, that one is ready to pick too! So I come in with the bowl, which was big enough for the three tomatoes I had in mind originally, overflowing and one more tomato in my hand for good measure.
There is always another ripe tomato.
The library for me is the same way. I always set out with the thought of getting just one or two books; often I have a call number or two scribbled on a piece of paper. But only one or two. After all, I have to lug them the seven blocks back home. The fewer books to tote, the happier my arms are.
It rarely works out that way. It didn't today either.
I had meant (really, truly) only to get one book that another blogger, Darla at Bay Side to Mountain Side, had recommended. The library had it in the stacks.
But to get to the stacks in our library, you have to walk right past the new books.
I never just walk past the new books section. I didn't today. And therein lay my downfall.
Like newly ripened tomatoes, new books winked at me. I picked them up, I squeezed them, I weighed them in my hand - not for the physical weight but the emotional. Is this something I want to read now? Can this wait?
A few went back on the shelf, maybe not quite ripe, maybe not what I was looking for. Several more went into my arms. The book I had originally set out for was added to the stack, as were two videos. When all was said and done, the tote bag was packed tightly, and I still had seven blocks between me and our front door.
I used to read and walk at the same time. I probably hold the local record, dating back to my youth, for simultaneous reading and walking the greatest distances. I don't do that these days, thanks to aging eyesight. So while I walked home, I instead thought about the books I was carrying and how soon I would be back here, cooling off with lemonade and cracking open the first one.
As I finish this post mid-morning, I hear the cicadas starting their daylong chatter. The sun is in and out of clouds, so the heat is milder. I have a fan blowing on me as I sit here typing. The books are one room away, scattered on the kitchen table. There is lemonade in the refrigerator and ripe tomatoes on the window sill.
Books, tomatoes, and a summer day. Heaven in my household.