I am watching the changing light from my balcony window. The color shifts from bright yellow to darkening threat, and back again. The trees rustle like silk saris, and as I watch, I sense a downpour. We could use the rain. Elsewhere, Isaias has struck with the force of a hurricane, ripping through the Carolinas, leaving all of NJ in a state of emergency. My mother texts, We have had no power for four hours, and no sun. An hour later, All is well, with the power back, and the sunshine. It is late in the day here. I am reheating pizza on a skillet, and idly wondering what in the world am i doing in a town where after nearly a decade I know hardly anyone well. Everyone in town is a neighbor or a stranger. Yet if I go to my local market, I know I will receive a warm welcome, and if I were to wander, in pre-Covid days, into the radio station, I would receive the same. If I hop in my car, and drive ten minutes to the next town, I can find old friends. And right here, in the distance, on the horse farm, two horses with identical coats of chestnut stand side by side; all that is different is their size; one is a miniature horse. How priviledged, how lucky am I to live in such proximity to nature, to a farm. But I wonder about this life. So much of it is spent looking out the window.
i am not a walker, or a sun-worshipper. The beach has little interest for me beyond the shape of the waves. I dislike summer, though i loved it as a child because it meant I could read. Now, I am grateful for the farmers markets, and I know that if one were to live someplace during a pandemic, a beach town is pretty capital. I have been to some some amzing concerts locally, seen great films, and attended superlative dinner parties. So what is it that I am missing? I wondered aloud to a frend if i had become a shut-in, but her reply was that we are supposed to be shut-ins at this point in our lives. The mourning birds returned to coo, and I wonder if they are thinking of a third brood. I hope they will wait for the storm to pass.
When I lived in Long Island, a friend said that we don’t have communities anymore exactly, except for what we cobble together of far-flung friends.
The storm still has not arrived.
What would it be like if my balcony were in Venice, or Delhi? Yet one always packs a little loneliness, it seems. All is well.
The weather app kept promising rain, which never truly arrived. The fans on at full blast, the two cats draped on the countertops to cool their bellies, the drapes drawn. Lunch was ice cream, dinner was yogurt.
Even as I type the hummingbird visits the salvia which is full flower, as is the jasmine. The roses are bravely putting out a second flush of blooms.
And the little baby mourning dove came back for a long visit, opening and closing her mouth, in memory, perhaps, of being fed by her parents not so long ago. Her head is small for her body. Perhaps she will return to nest in a few years.