The cats wake me up at 6:00 am, demanding to be fed. The soft, warm weather of Saturday has yielded to a seasonably crisp current. The only way I know this is because our apartment window has been left cracked open about six inches. Directly below us, the enclosed courtyard serves to create a kind of wind tunnel, causing air and voices and cooking fumes to waft up into our living space. In the city, the transition from one season to the next can go unnoticed because of so many urban distractions. Cairo and Feejee wind around my ankles, hoping to get their bellies filled, mewling more loudly than usual. They sense it’s time to pack on provisional fat layers.
I can tell by the bright slip of light over the Citicorp Building that the day will be bright and clear by lunchtime. I will not be able to enjoy it on this busy Monday morning at work, writing ad copy in my cubicle. So for now, I comfort myself by thinking about the forthcoming weekend, when we will reclaim our little cottage from the renters who have lived there all week.
It’s been a real lesson in letting go, this opening our home to strangers—and a surprisingly fulfilling adventure in some ways. From the get-go, we acknowledged that having a weekend home was a luxury for people like us, and we have always counted ourselves lucky. This summer, we could no longer justify letting the place sit empty for long stretches of time. Such is the continuing struggle to find balance in our lives.
By this weekend, my birthday weekend, the maples upstate will be nearly done shedding their leaves, and I will be curious to see how much color still blankets the Taconics, particularly after an eerily premature spring. I’d like to know that the renters enjoyed the place as much as we do. It’s always satisfying to know that like-minded travelers have found their way to our door.
Meanwhile, I look forward to being back in our house, to buying pumpkins and baking apples and shuffling my feet in the leaves at the edge of our wetlands, and to enjoying the little bit of liberation we derived from practicing non-attachment.
Happy Columbus Day!