It is quiet this morning. The kind of quiet that allows the mind to wander and reach unencumbered. Two dogs at the end of a double leash. The park is empty except for birds and squirrels. Too early for most of my neighbors. They are still at breakfast. The moms are eating pancakes prepared by their children. Maybe breakfast in bed. Next to their plate are the cards and gifts. I make my own breakfast. A bowl of Special K with brown sugar and black coffee. Mother’s Day is bitter sweet. It is a day where memories and regrets bubble up. Maybe a fizz of self-pity. No mother. No babies. Just two dogs at the end of a double leash. What would Mama have to say about a dog that cost more than a car cost in 1967? About a dog walker whose monthly bill is more than the mortgage on the house at 425 Sharp Street ? About a case of dog food that costs me as much as her weekly trip to the Colonial Store? I am alone today. John is on Assateague Island for the weekend. Is it a coincidence that his spring rock fish trip often falls on Mother’s Day weekend? I thought about packing a lunch and heading out for a picnic with Arlo and Darcy. I can stow it in the pack I ordered for him after the hike at Harpers Ferry . Or I could go for a bike ride. It is a beautiful morning. Sunny. About 60 degrees. It feels like a crisp early fall day without the impending winter. Or I could paint my rocker. I bought some poppy red paint on the way home on Friday. I knew I’d want to paint something. I just didn’t know what. I thought I might paint the sliding closet doors in our bedroom but I realized that would mean removing all the clothes. If I do that I will spend hour organizing the closets and I am in a painting mood, not a cleaning mood. I spent yesterday morning putting together a patio table and 4 chairs. I ordered them from Overstock.com. I saved $700. It only took me a little over 3 hours to put it together. When I was nearly done I realized I could have done it in an hour if I had used our socket wrench instead of the little hex wrench they provided. I am going to sit at my new patio table and read the Washington Post, but I want to write before I read anything. Later I will read more essays. Then I will work on the essay I plan to email to R. to be workshopped in July. Appropriate that the essay is about my relationship with my mother. It is likely I won’t get around to picnics and painting today. My thoughts and feelings are deep and fertile today. It would be a shame to waste them.