The other night Caleb and I arrived at the beach at 7:36, fashionably late for a 7:30 bonfire on a balmy June evening of 61 degrees.
Only, we were the first ones there. And there was no fire.
Aside from a single carload of friends equally perplexed about the plans that fell through, we remained the only ones gathered around a pile of unlit wood until 8. Fortunately when they did finally arrive they brought blanket, marshmallows, and all of the required accouterments for smores.
Except, of course, the fire.
By the time Caleb went home for a lighter and came back, it was 8:30, and we finally had that greatest symbol of human progression.
I found myself critical of the “wasted” time. An hour on the cold beach with no fire or friends? After all, I could have been home writing or revising or reading or working on any number of things (including the dishes that somehow piled up WAY too high this week…). But instead I was sitting at a beach doing nothing. (To those of you to whom this sounds like heaven, might I remind you of the temperature? I was wearing jeans and a fleece. Summer, my foot.)
As Caleb’s fire began to warm us, marshmallows were finally roasted, and many friends suddenly gathered around, I realized time spent doing nothing can be valuable, in it’s own way. This is something I’ll always readily admit, but usually my nothing time is time during which I planned to be doing nothing. Surprise nothing is not something I’m totally comfortable with. But with all those dishes on the counter when I got home that night, I realized I might not have been planning nothing for a while.
So thanks for nothing! =) And the pleasant warmth, music, and company that followed.
Even if 61 is WAY too cool for June.