Because mostly I am profoundly grateful to be here, to have taken a leap and come back to the place I spent some of my twenties, and now, entering my sixties. To sit and watch the green things pop out of the ground, to learn that snowdrops are equipped with their own anti-freeze, to see the moon lift to full in the sky, to see it shimmer at half in the morning as it sets—all this fills me with gratitude. My mother got her vaccine earlier today which is such tremendous news, though she had to trek into the city from NJ to do so. Her biggest fear was the walk from the car to the Rite -Aid would prove to be too much, but it was only a block, and she could manage. My brother was there to help her, and at the drugstore, another woman told her she had a very good son, and that her own son would not even talk to her. “I told her I hope that would change,” my mother told me, then repeating the wish.
The mourning doves have started to drag a few twigs to start their first next of the season, though I don’t know if they will do much of anything this week. It is early for them to start. I too am eager to start the garden chores but know I must wait another month. I could start the sweet peas in pots, though I could probably just put the seeds straight in the ground if the soil thaws in two weeks. But I think I’ll try a few, and see what might grow.
It is a month to go for the first year anniversary of the covid never-official- -but-socially-obvious shutdown. It was eleven months ago that the restaurants and libraries closed, that classes went online, and offices darkened. And today is the day that I, with a natural predilection for solitude and quiet, am quite tired of it. I know it will last longer, that Dr. Fauci says we should be back to normal by the end of the year, though I suspect it might be even longer. So I write here as I give myself a facial mask treatment, a kind of gloopy moisturizing thing because I actually have the twenty minutes to do so. I momentarily fantasize I am at a health spa, coated in seaweed and salt spray, attended by a host of massage therapists accompanied by lulling music and sips of cucucumber water. In reality, I type at my iPad while the dishwasher is a making distressing knocking noise which I am trying to ignore.
I have already played chess with the computer, which means I get checkmated in thirty minutes, or else end in a draw in which I chase the opposing king with my rook or queen but never really win. I had already had a slice of cake, and added copious amounts of sour cream to my dinner. I have binged as much as I could on English noir detective tv. I will be asleep before 10. But before I do, I remove my mask, and discover the glow I have been promised is just sticky wetness on my face. I am not seeing an improvement, and the dishwasher is still clacking. I think the last mug I put on the rack must have dislodged. Hopefully this will be the most eventful episode this week in my life.
One goes on, of course, and a day has already passed since I wrote that. In the meantime, I finished up the detective show I was binging, watched a zoom broadcast, watched an Instagram interview, and made plans to get my hair cut. In a hour or so, I will vacuum the house. I discovered one of the rose bushes has a serious problem with scale, got both the screen door and the mailbox keyhole fixed. Life seems at times a series of chores, and accidental encounters with nature. I am eager for the vaccine, and hope you are, too.