19 May 20XX +1
My Dear Lucilius:
From what I can tell, I hear peeps in the back of the greenhouse so it appears that the quail may have hatched. I am still too concerned that I may somehow disturb something, so I am continuing to put out food and water and isolate them. I will check in perhaps a week. Our rain is on and off – which is precisely what the garden needs, and normal for this time of year.
Late Spring and Summer are lurching into being in a way that continues to surprise me, even thought I have lived here for some time.
The biggest difference is the amount of sunlight. We are approaching the Summer Solstice (not for another month yet of course), and our daylight is suddenly almost 14 hours. It sneaks up on one: only a few days ago (I know it was longer in fact) the sunrise was after 0700; now I find it getting light at 0430. Terribly disruptive for a sleep pattern, but terribly useful for the act of living.
In a way, I suppose (to be fair to myself) I had somewhat already adapted to such a schedule: in moving up here and being formally retired as well as having slowly curtailed my career in the last few years of our previous home, some of the constraints of the modern schedule had fallen away from me. Most of the “times” that I did keep were more for my own convenience and regularity: Waking at a certain time, eating at certain times, planning certain activities at certain times, going to bed a certain times. The days of the week became just days, punctuated by Divine Services on Sundays. Seasonality, as we have discussed before, became the norm instead of weeks or even months.
That was before, of course. Things are a bit different now.
Daylight is now a time to be up and about things, even more so than before. Part of that, of course, is tempered by the fact that things like biologic processes can only move at a certain pace: seeds only grow so quickly, fruits and vegetables only ripen so quickly, eggs only are produced so quickly, and so on. As the same time, what is driving at the back of my brain is the fact that this time will dwindle all too soon: by late September temperature and light will already start dwindling and by November, we will be in the cold and dark.
And so, it seems, one finds tasks to do.
Fortuitously, my actual property is small so it is easy enough to care for, although it is enough to keep me busy. General maintenance sweeps are even more a thing than ever, not only of the place I live but the outbuildings and my possessions. Care of garden (still early yet after planting) and greenhouse and quail and bees all takes at least some time. Regular house sweeping and dusting has also become a thing (it seems that I have visitors more often now than ever), as well as now assessing and re-assessing everything for need or trade. Ranging up and down the part of the road that is my responsibility. Fishing for meals, and making sure I vary my spots so that I do not denude the stream in front of my house.
I still make time to practice my martial arts (a sanity check as well as maintaining my skill level) and my reading, of course. And writing these missives.
Added to this – somewhat unexpectedly – is now I have a second my place where I am welcome.
I am not sure that I add anything to Pompeia Paulina and Statiera’s operation – they have lived here far longer and are much more organized in their routine. I amuse myself that I assist, mostly by moving heavy things and being an extra set of hands. If I am not as useful as I believe myself to be, they are kind enough to not say anything and redirect me.
It certainly acts to fill the day. Tempus Fugit, as they say.
Your Obedient Servant, Seneca