On the Hill


“Such cloud as there was seemed benign and friendly: little patches of cotton-wool cumulus drifting lazily across a blue sky; the occasional wisp of high stratus, but no ominous mares’ tails; nothing that would disturb the rambler or the swimmer.” Alexander McCall Smith, Emma: A Modern Retelling

As I cloud-watch on the hill, the soughing of the wind in the oak grove is akin to ocean waves on the beach.  For this Midwestern girl, the scent of June -growing- things is as alluring as salt-saturated air on the coast.

In lieu of an oceanside cocktail with little umbrella, I will soon enjoy the hill’s happy hour beverage of choice; lemonade with a splash of beer, served over lots of ice.  Oh, my.  Toss back a few peanuts with that, and, as the colloquialism goes, “Life is good.”

Let’s backtrack to that peanut tossing.  You knew this was coming.  There will be no lounging on the hill without tending to good use, yes?  Dear Readers, you may be thinking my life is spent in constant vigilance to Alexander Technique principles.  Not so.

All that matters is the occasional return to thoughts of good use….with”good use” defined as “moving the body with maximum balance and coordination of all parts so that only the effort absolutely needed is expended.” That’s Sarah Barker’s definition, found in her 1978 book, The Alexander Technique. I have yet to come across a better one.

And where this peanut tossing is concerned, tossing back a few with head leading is much preferable to scrunching down into my cervical spine (neck), just so that I can get a few peanuts into my mouth.  No need to pull down, compress, or contract.  This is true for peanut tossing as well as typing at my computer, driving the car, talking with a friend over tea, and whatever else I may find myself doing on this fine day.

May your day have a lovely cloud or two in it, and may you toss back your peanuts with…..I just have to write it…..poise and presence!






2 thoughts on “On the Hill

  1. caribrackett June 23, 2016 / 1:22 pm

    Elegant and lovely, Diana! Thank you for this moment of grace.


    Cari >


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