Today he looked tired. I was graced with the usual warm welcome but I could tell a change had occurred. He insisted on a walk. This included a simple lesson in German, of course. We made it almost ¾ of the way down his driveway, but in truth, there were distractions. What was that green shoot struggling to gain ground in the still frozen earth? I guessed Iris he said Crocus. I’m sure he is right. A little further on, we encountered tire-tracks that were digging mud on the lawn. Whoever plowed got as close to the fencing as they felt comfortable and that meant the heaved and concave paved driveway was also lined with deep mud-riddled ruts. I could see this bothered his sense of decorum. “We could have these raked back into place in no time. We’ll just wait until the ground thaws a bit.” I quipped while scooping mud with my boot to fill the ruts.
On the way back, the wind had picked up and he said his knees were cold. We joked about needing long-underwear in the end of March. Then we sat in the sun, on the massive granite steps for a bit.
I was cold. She came back from an errand and suggested soup was ready for lunch and we should come inside. But he wanted to sit. He tilted his head back and basked in the weak sun. His chickens came out to scratch across the yard, the birds flitted and quietly called to each other. It was a moment with no temperature.
I treasure my meals with them. She is a spark of life that burns so brightly in so many directions. I watch her loving care of him. I feel such connectedness with life when I am with them, whether together or separately. What an honor to be a part of someone’s life through chance.
I left them and drove down the hills to the highway, trying to rearrange my head into the “business person” I was expected to be for the next few hours. On the highway it occurred to me, “No one else in this world expects me to show up and be anyone but ME.” Why am I trying to build all these personas, and idols of who I think the world sees as me? Be me, that is what has gotten me this far.