Have you ever had one of those days when, all day, you didn’t really know what day of the week it was? You know, where you thought that it was Wednesday but in fact it was only Monday?

Well, all day I have been feeling as if today is Friday.

It isn’t. It’s Thursday.

“Why?” I asked myself every time I corrected my error, “Why am I thinking it’s Friday?”

The answer: Because I finished my Other paper.

Yes, I worked until nearly two a.m. this morning on the incomplete work left over from last spring. Then I got up and went for a walk with Rachel at 6:45, and when I got back to the house it was still quiet. So I went into the kitchen (where I had left all my stuff sprawled across the table) and resumed working. Emma Grace joined me shortly, and then the boys arrived. But I continued working and had the whole thing cleaned up by 10 a.m.

We drove over to Duke at 1:30, and I placed the paper directly in my professor’s hands.

That was That. All of my coursework (with the exception of my Master’s thesis, which will take a Long Time) is complete.

So all day, I had a dawning awareness of Friday, that wonderful freshness of school-just-let-out, of broad expanses of Empty Days Without Obligation.

Of course it isn’t true. I am, for example, teaching Sunday school this Sunday and next. I do have curriculum to write (and a vast amount of reading to go along with it). I have another month of homeschooling to continue and, likely, shorter homeschooling sorts of things during the summer. I have to read a Long Book for my Master’s thesis, and really should have it read before school starts in the fall.

Still, after months of living under the pressure of two syllabi, the days before me feel as if they have expanded somehow. Yes, all day I had a growing sense of waking to a morning unfettered, of opening windows and letting in new air, of the pale cleanness of the earliest light. And then there’s the sound, too, of my novel awakening to new possibility in my mind, making, amidst the hubbub of the day, the gentlest sounds, like doves cooing on the ridgepole of the roof.

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