If you had just 24 hours to live, what would you do with your time?
Me, I’d go outside.
There are other things. Like eat dark chocolate croissants. Plural. The kind so crisp they’re almost burnt. Not sweet. Pillow-soft and buttery inside. Properly paired with endless hot black coffee. I’d let my sweetheart choose the type. Speaking of which, I’d keep him by my side.
Later we’d slowly sip some smoky French Syrah because I like my wine savory. And out of my price range. Add in stinky cheese, olives, pickles. A hunk of fresh-baked sourdough.
We’d tuck our treats in the green and white striped picnic basket that gathers dust in our basement. With grandma’s flower-ringed china and her wine glasses, too. And the lavender gray linen napkins we splurged on and then forgot were coming because they took six weeks to arrive (via the internet via Lithuania).
Because mainly? I’d spend the day outside. In early fall. September, since this is my story.
I love the in-between. Leaves just blushing, chlorophyll still bright and clinging. Mountain air clear and cool and sighing: slow down.
In the morning I’d trace my well-worn path on damp grass, barefoot. I’d lick dew from all my garden’s flowers. The purest, most precious flower essence. I’d wrap my arms around our weeping cherry trees. I’d whisper, thank you for my breath.
We’d picnic on a mountain top. It wouldn’t matter which, really. Though just now I’m imagining a particular bald. Wildflowers scatter-dot the grasses like an impressionist painting. 360 views make you feel small and part of everything.
I want to feel part of everything.
We’d hike up with leisure, sipping deep full breaths of autumn’s air. Our spot would beckon and we’d spread a quilt over wild yarrow and plantain. We’d snuggle and speak poetry as it came. Into each others ears, into the sky, into the wild grasses.
We’d let the day discover us...
PS Thanks so much to Alexandra Franzen for this inspired prompt (#myfinal24) in celebration of her new book: So This Is the End: A Love Story. Alex, you’ve made me consider why I don’t more often buy the expensive wine and spend all day with wild yarrow on a mountain bald.
PPS T, I’ve just planned our next date. We’re dusting off that picnic basket. Because why wait? ;)
PPPS I wrote this just now, quickly and without much editing. So please forgive any typos and imperfections. Because another thing I would do if I had only 24 hours? I would try to let go of even a little of my perfectionism. And if there’s a tiny a lesson I’ve just learned it’s: why wait.