Wordless Days

Writing a blog short on words is more than a bit counterintuitive. Those who know me well would attest to the fact that generally I have an endless supply of verbiage for every occasion. But that is simply one side of me. I often go silent. Michael and I spent countless quiet hours in wordless communication. Sometimes I’m engaged in an internal dialogue which I prefer to not utter aloud. My life has changed a lot since he died in 2017, in addition to the changes wrought by the previous five years of coping with his cancer. And of course, there were other deaths and adjustments that are the stuff of daily existence. I am at the very least, a modified version of myself. I’m exhausted by the political devolution of my country. And of course there is the pandemic. Speechless feels alright now and then.

With the weather gone chilly, I reached for a warmer jacket the other day and found my senior discount theater pass in my pocket, plus two ticket stubs from November, 2019. I’d gone to a matinee with my sister. I think I saw a few more movies on the big screen by January but none since then. Going to the movies as an avid film lover since childhood is one of the things that’s gone away and might never come back in the same iteration. I’ve made an adjustment to that loss, inconceivable as it may have seemed in the before.

I also found my long unused pool pass. I haven’t been to my local pool since February. I think I still have months paid on my membership. It’s reopened now and has been for some time, requiring reservations for a space in a lane. I don’t like the virus risks, though. So for the foreseeable future swimming is out. I spent decades swimming five days a week. My body feels weaker and odd without the water. Another adjustment.

A very old tree which straddled mine and my neighbors’ driveway went down this week. A sad day when mature trees die. The contractors saved me some wood chips to use as mulch. I spread a tarp in my front yard and have been spreading them in my garden beds from a wheelbarrow with an child’s old snow shovel. I’m not sure which kid used it. The hard work keeps me outside and goes well with my silence. The old tree will become a permanent part of my garden in its new form.

I observe the oddly blooming plants which still have their dying parts attached and wonder what effects the unseasonably warm weather so far this fall and early winter will have on next spring’s garden.

But mostly on these days when my verbal spigot is off, I look up. Every day that I spy my beloved cardinal pair, always near each other, is a good day. Today Carmine and Pumpkin were enjoying the tiny red berries on the barren limbs of my tall burning bush which had bright flaming leaves just a few weeks ago.

Then there is the always changing sky with its fleeting cloud formations and a palette both brilliant and subtle simultaneously. When I’m in the rhythm of my work, accompanied by the music in my headphones, I don’t notice that within a day, I’m filling my phone with photos of these images which never bore me. Today, when I’m not ready to use too much language, I’ll share these with you. All from my yard.

I’ll be back with when the words are ready. Soon.

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