I brought the truck into town the other day for a new set of tires. The mechanic said it would take an hour so I decided to while away the time at the library across the street. I often visit our little library to check out audio books but have never taken the time to sit and read in its quietness.
I wandered around the aisles of books and stopped at the poetry section. As I rifled through a few books, I saw some still have the small manilla pockets with signature check-out cards tucked inside. I imagined parents having to explain these to their post bar code era children and maybe even recognizing names of their friends and neighbors on the cards.
I found myself reading one, then two, then three of the poems in one particular book. I checked it out with my bar coded library card on my key chain and went to the periodicals room finding a comfy chair to read away my hour. What a pleasant luxury this was. I decided that wherever I retire, it must have a nice library nearby.
I keep thinking when I retire I will have all this empty time to fill up so I've started constructing a mental list. It includes things like frequent visits to a coffee shop where I actually sit inside and drink the coffee or tea while reading a newspaper, morning swims in the lake during the summer, tending a vegetable garden, and volunteering for some non-profit arts organization. Now I'm adding un-hurried visits to the library.
The book I had found to read was "Nine Horses" by Billy Collins. It is unusual that I enjoy and understand, without great analyzing, every poem in a book. Many of the poems were about those three second thoughts that pop into our heads attempting to distract our focus. He paints his words without rhyme or meter but rather with wit, humor and unique observation. I decided Mr. Collins is now on my list of favorite poets.
The hour in the library went by too quickly and I packed up my book and walked across the street to gather the newly tired pickup. Only twenty more years until retirement. That's a long time to wait. Maybe I need to make time for these small pleasures now.
Note: How short my memory is because I realized that I had already discovered Billy Collins via animated poems discovered in YouTube. In July I posted one called "Budapest" and in May I had posted one titled "Forgetfulness." The later is befitting don't you think?