Monday, June 13, 2011

Summer routine

It is the beginning of week 3 in the summer vacation from school. I've settled nicely into a relaxing routine that suits me and my needs and wants nicely. Usually I arise at 6am during the school year, and always being an early riser by nature, I still get up pretty early, in this case, 6:30. Sometimes I get up 15 minutes or so later, but that is because I lay there, listening to the dawn chorus of birds.

Growing up, my mother used to listen to public radio out of Boston, and that is synonymous with Robert J. Lurtsema. He hosted the morning classical music radio show for thirty years. Eccentric as far as radio hosts go, he had an unusual cadence to this speech that paused in strange places. He also stopped speaking for long periods. Dead air on the radio is a no-no, but Robert J., as he was known, didn't care. "I'm not afraid of dead air," he was quoted as saying. "I don't think there's anything wrong with a quiet spot once in a while."

He also began his show each morning with a chorus of birds. This birdsong lasted a while, and I loved it. I have always loved birds and where I lived it was suburban, but not rural. There were some birds, but not many. Robert J.'s outbreak of birdsong burst into my mind, penetrating it like no other sound in the cacophony of sounds that is modern life in a busy home. What a balm for the harried mind. Here is the Dawn Chorus .wav file from Morning Pro Musica.

So when I wake up and hear the birds outside, I spend time distinguishing between and among the sounds and calls, then I think of the classical music show, and of growing up, and let my mind wander, and it is a peaceful way to begin the day.

I scan the news, make coffee, settle down with breakfast and get dressed by 9am. I spend the day studying, writing, listening to sermons, and responding to theological queries via email or the blog. After 8 to 10 hours of this, I take a break, have supper, and then return to personal internet surfing. At night, I read in my chair. No music is on and no television. It is quiet. Last night I heard a baby donkey braying and a wayward rooster.

The last few days I've read the latest in the #1 Ladies Detective Agency book series and a Christian historical romance called The Measure of a Lady. Light reading after the heavy topics of the day. By 10:30 or 11 I go to bed. It is a day. And each day is like that. Fridays I grocery shop and do errands, and Sunday I go to church. Those are the only breaks in the routine. I expect those will be the ONLY breaks in the routine all summer. As I said at the beginning, this suits me. Long live summer!

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