Josh The Pilot took me to the first place we lived after we were married a few months ago. It’s a Virginia suburb of DC. I liked living there, but we were so desperately new-married in such an expensive county that the first place we lived together was hung with fear, doubt, and two people used to being living on our own suddenly being married. Between the two of us, we worked six jobs, and there was never time for anything but wondering what we’d gotten ourselves into.
Now visiting from Cincinnati, Josh suggested that we drop in on the little jewelry store where we’d found our wedding rings. This was perilous. We were on our way to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, where I was to rendezvous with Discovery, who I hadn’t seen with my own eyes since I worked at the Kennedy Space Center. He wanted to pay a call at the airport where he once operated as a flight instructor. And we had to find lunch. And we had to push against the stupid DC Saturday afternoon traffic. And return the rental car, and check in for the flight, and shove the bag off onto its conveyor belt, and hike out to the gate. And and and.
In the parking lot where the jewelry store sat, a farmer’s market had sprung up. It wasn’t in existence when we lived there. Josh saw me looking at the tent tops, the food truck banners, and he parried my suggestion that he leave me to the organic locally sourced honey and handmade earrings while he visited the airport.
“No,” he said, “we won’t have time.”
I opened my mouth to object, then remembered a lesson from baseball, one that the MLB has seen fit to tinker with: There is time. There might not be a lot of outs, but there is time. You drop the ball one inning, you hit it out the next. Wait. Just wait.
So I did what I never do, and shut up.
And after we visited with the owners of the jewelry store, and assured them the rings still fulfilled their purpose, Josh drove us to a space near the tents. “Five minutes,” he said as he shut down the engine. I bit back a snappish old-wife reply under the assumption that this was worse than nothing. Five minutes. What good was five minutes? What could we possibly do with five minutes?
And in five minutes we saw: Babies, piles of squash, an organic milk stand, a man with long hair playing reggae, chocolate chip cookies, homemade dog treats, hand-poured cider, big flowers, and salsa. A young baker complimented my dress. A dog sniffed at us and another dog. And by the time I had walked up one row of booths and down the other, five minutes had passed. We got into the car. We drove off, in accord. We’d had time.
I rush. I overestimate and underestimate. I waste what I have been given. I probably always will. (Last night I was up until two in the morning reading, for absolutely no reason, infuriating Twitter feeds.) But these days, instead of feeling angry, constrained…I am more peaceful. I am expansive. I keep pushing my shoulders down my back instead of forever hunching them up against my carotid artery. It opens all of me.
As it is, this evening I was thinking about my little schedule for tomorrow and reluctantly realized that it must be time to go to bed soon. I looked at the clock: 6:22 PM.
There are over sixty games left in this season. We are past the All-Star break now, but we have many outs to go in this wonderful, terrible, frustrating, wonderous season.
There is time yet to love it all.
Proud aunt Mary Beth Ellis is a freelance writer and college teacher who lives in Cincinnati, OH. Her home site, BlondeChampagne.com, has existed in at least some form since 2003, and Mary Beth has been a regular columnist with one publication or another from the age of 16. Her first book, Drink to the Lasses, was published in 2006. She currently teaches college, runs personal wine tastings, gives literary readings, and stares into the middle distance.