What will I do for breakfast?
Do they even have anything for lunch? I did not return with a plan in mind.
The break of dawn.
I didn’t think she would recognize me without my braids but she tells me that she had a kidney stone attack and was in the hospital over the weekend. It catches me off guard because I haven’t yet had my coffee and I’m worried no one will eat the turkey I just bought. I’m not present enough to ask more questions.
We decide he should stay home. It really only works when you do it every 4 hours.
The act of unfollowing has become addicting.
I make the call as I head south on Vasco and hope that the call doesn’t drop. But I know it will.
Ah. I know who this is supposed to be but it still catches me off guard.
Reddish-brown cow with a white face and I feel like he’s just staring at me. How can I eat that?
I believe in our magic.
So dark. Darker than usual. Must be clouds.
I put some bacon in the oven, brew the coffee, and wash dishes. Almost two weeks without a dishwasher which is too long when there are 5 people in a home and you make every meal from scratch. But we are remembering the therapeutic benefits of hand-washing. It’s become a meditation.
I try my best to make the braid. I am sure it will be undone by the time she comes home from school.
Rain. A real rain. I thought they meant just a drizzle, but this is coming down hard.
Next time I know not to take Greenville Road. Never take Greenville Road.
He opens the door for me and drives us out of the gate and to the cottage. He tells me that he was in the hospital with his son over the weekend. I look at him in the eyes and say, “But how are you doing?” He starts to cry and tells me that he has to be strong for his son. I place my hand on his shoulder. He doesn’t have the words. Or maybe there are too many words. So we just look at each other and maybe that’s enough for this morning.
How do we make room for grief when life must go on? What happens to us on the inside when we exhaust ourselves trying to “put on a brave face”? Where can we go and feel as though we can safely express our true feelings in the midst of it all? How do we make sure that even complete strangers know that someone cares?
I offer to take him to the library before we pick up his older brother. We put the windows down. I’m so ready for this weather.
I text to make sure she’s okay. She says she is. I might be oversensitive to hurt feelings among friends. I might be projecting. Everything is fine. I love that they found a way to play softball in the park, just the four of them.
I just want everyone to go to bed now.
I wish there was more time for laughs over coffee and scrambled eggs.
I think of the interesting ways in which relationships shift as we age. It seems so strange to be talking with my uncle, adult to adult. I like how it feels more like being friends.
I miss the ramp. Google didn’t say to head right. Now I will be late. Okay. Only a few minutes.
She lets me go through the pre-check line because the plane is actually already boarding. I am grateful for that. Not as grateful about the bag check. Also not grateful for the gate change, nor the incorrect directions to the new gate, nor that I now have to check my bag because I’m so late.
He asks me how I’m doing once I sit down. It softens me. I thank him for asking.
So grateful for the Lyft ride. She is so quiet and she’s playing all the John Mayer. I sing along softly from the back seat.
The heat is a shock after four days of 60-something degrees.
I feel like I fail every birthday but she does say she’s happy. I believe her. I can see the twinkle in her eye. Maybe one day I’ll get the hang of it.
Just needed one more day.
The last day. No sun. So cold.
The saturation of color. Red mushrooms, brown mushrooms, gray mushrooms; thin, soft bright green needles on the conifers.
He just looks so sure of himself. The top of his head barely reaches my waist. He’s in his onesie pajamas and yellow rain boots with fluffy blonde bed head and black-rimmed glasses. We greet him. He hesitates and then says hello.
The swell of emotion.
I grab a chair and sit on the tiny dock, the one that can’t really fit more than one person, and call him.
Wetsuit swimming. I imagine the water still seems so cold.
We linger in the dining room talking about the challenges of being a community leader. We think about the place we are in and where one could go and wonder how do we train ourselves and one another when so much change is emerging all at once. There is no easy answer. Are there ever easy answers.
I realize that my own answer feels as wrought as hers.
I just needed one more day. Or maybe three more days. I begin to plot how I might procure the cabin named Sommers.
The way the fog is weaving itself in and out of the trees and rock formations. The moodiness of it all.
Laughter, insight, a big plate of ziti and Caesar salad. I’m glad I made time for this.
Don’t think about the to-do list.
The color of the light as it illuminates the corner by the window.
So cold I don’t want to get out of the bed but I know it’s time to get up. I also don’t hate it.
I put on the turtleneck and then take it off. I put on the thermal and then put the turtleneck back on. That should be enough.
I decide to crash Ann Wood’s class because she’s Ann Wood and there are very few people I fangirl over but she’s one of them.
Twigs, evergreen leaves, dead oak leaves, a strip of bark covered in moss.
I tell her that I try to ask more questions. There is a feeling of spaciousness that occurs when I shift from “I think…” to “I’m curious about…”
I think this going to be good. It will be good. I like that I can be here and serve in this way.
She shares a can of local IPA with me and we chat about all the things. I watch everyone’s hands deep in their work.
I wrap my scarf around me and walk out to the dark to listen to the water. The lake looks dark and deep. The mountain (hill) to my left seems larger today than it did yesterday. I realize just how small I am.
Who knew one could feel so competitive when playing a friendly game of BINGO?
I will miss our long talks. But I’ll see her again in just a few more weeks.