When I was 22, I spent a month or so housesitting for a friend of a friend of a friend in a house tucked into the foothills. It was early spring, and every morning I carefully poured coffee into my blue willow mug and took it out to the porch. Sometimes clouds would get caught in the foothills. Just tiny scraps of clouds. The cows fussed amicably in the field to my right. My neighbor’s daughter’s boyfriend tore down the dirt road in his Dodge Ram to pick her up and to take her to school. I had not yet started to write seriously.
When I was 23, I learned how to sit in a coffeeshop and write. My favorite place served chocolate chip muffins and was right near the train tracks. I watched the trains, watched the people around me, watched little lines fill my notebook. My roommate had a little black cat who once ripped my favorite new poem to shreds. Everyone is a critic, or maybe she sensed that I loved my writing more than I did her.
Now that I’m thirty-mumble, I write at my dining room table (Cougar would say that it is my parents’ table, but it is mine now, sorry), in a red dining room. Except that I didn’t write at all this weekend. I can see the small playground in the park from my window, and what cracks me up is the number of times I see adults on the swings, swinging as if their life depends on it.
What are your rites?