I get asked how I like “retirement.”* It’s hard to explain beyond “I love it.” Several times a day I find myself doing an activity that I could not do while having a regular 9-to-5 type job.
I can take advantage of activities that happen to take place during normal working hours — like the national Sierra Club board meeting, usually in San Francisco, but this time in DC, where I sat in for a few agenda items. (I am a life member and want to make sure the club is doing as I wish. Sort of.) Some are things that fall roughly outside those hours, but if following on a work day would seem more like a nuisance, or a tacky, unsatisfying way to end the day. I have gone to serve food or perform other menial tasks at meal center for homeless women. I don’t know how that will work out, but as of now, I head to the church basement with a spring in my step.
I’ll tell about some of these and other worthy activities another time.
But some make no sense and have little ultimate purpose but are a creative expression. Sunday, I made a fairy circle, or a needle ring, or pine circle. I struggle with that name, but this is what I did.
I pass the little triangle park bounded by Quincy Street, 5th Street and Rock Creek Church Road just about every time I leave the yard. It is no one’s private property, so no one keeps it up, but the pine needles and enormous pine cones from the huge tree there have been especially untidy looking lately. Prevailing winds toss the fallen material southward, toward the sidewalk and the street.
Detritus in disarray in Rock Creek Church triangle park. 23 February 2014
As you know from an earlier post, I love the work of Andy Goldsworthy and others who artfully rearrange Planet Earth’s componentry, even on temporary basis. So I set out, with a rake over my shoulder and a snack and a little flask of a refreshing adult beverage in a sack, to rearrange the materials on my little public plot.
I started to rake with a little circle in mind, a halo, an aura a ring-around-the-rosy — find me the word. A circle is a fairly primitive design idea that I cannot claim as my own.
I thought about marking the four compass points with mounds of downed pine seeds, but after bending over what must have been a hundred times to pick them up and then tote them several feet north, south, east or west, the four loci became 12; because of a counting error, the 12 became 13.
Act in progress; edge of ring, one pine cone mound.
Long shadows after a raking needles and rearranging pine cones, about 3 pm.
The bending, stretching and pulling were exhausting, maybe in the way that a yoga class is just sooooo tiring, but carrying the rake was way cooler than toting that incriminating silly little rubber mat. (Right?)
Later that evening I passed the park after dark. My creative product was still in situ.
*Retirement, that is, not working at a regular job but with a pension so tiny that I need to find some income soon.