“Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new.” -Ursula Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven
This morning I woke up in Illinois. Most of yesterday I spent traveling across the country, bouncing through flight delays and missed connections. It was the kind of trip that could have been really frustrating, but it wasn’t. When we could fly, I looked out the window at seas of cloud. In the airport, I texted with friends and family. I thought back over the summer that’s gone so quickly.
By lots of measures, I didn’t do “the work” I had planned for this summer. I didn’t rewrite that much of my book. I didn’t finish my PhD applications for this fall. I did wash a lot of dishes, though. I woke up early and ate an apple while my mom made her tea. I walked with my dad. I stood on the bluffs by the ocean as my younger brother flew his drone out along the cliffs, making me think about them, see them, in ways I never had. I cooked with my older brother. Talked with him. I played a lot with my nieces: we were bears and marmots, dragons and pangolins and witches and family. Le Guin reminds me what I was doing: love. Mixing the dough of it, standing close while it rose. It’s wonderful “work,” my favorite of all the kinds I know. I’m glad for Le Guin reminding me to keep baking so love’s made new. I’m glad for the summer, and so glad for the time with my family.