I’ve mentioned that things are a bit shaky chez moi lately, with unanticipated changes and tremors, a brand-new and somewhat startling shakiness to the ground. Last week I felt tentative and edged my way out into the world only when it was necessary. Other than one dinner out (a celebration with a few of our dear local friends) I have been staying very close to home. The truth is I am feeling internal again, quiet, and there are only a few people I feel comfortable being with.
I have been working a lot, writing, reading, sleeping when I can (not that well), and curling up with Grace and Whit. Cooking random vegetables out of the bin that arrives weekly, making my way through Gail Godwin’s glorious Evensong, working slowly on a couple of essays I have in process.
I’ve also been going for walks in the afternoons. Whenever I can, when I have breaks between calls, I sneak out, bundle up, pull on a fleece hat and mittens and parka and head down the street. It’s often late afternoon when I go out, so in particular I have been watching the light change. In the space of a couple of days it suddenly seemed as though the days were markedly longer. A movement which had seemed slow, almost imperceptible, like the hour hand creaking around a clock, suddenly jumped and made itself known.
I walk and I watch. I see the light on the trees, the black nests in bare tree branches, the glowing rough-edged moon in the saturated, still-blue sky. The unfortunate thing, though, is that I seem to go on every walk with myself. No matter how far or how fast I walk, I can’t get away from myself. Sometimes I can still my racing thoughts and heart with the abiding calm of a late afternoon in deep winter, but most of the time I can’t. I’m right there with myself. As it were.
And still, not really knowing what else to do, I keep walking. Looking up, looking down, noticing things every step of the way, often feeling waves of wonder. Realizing that no matter what, I can’t outrun myself. Even as the world turns towards light again, I am, in ways big and small, turning inward. Who knows how long this will last, this phase of inwardness, this time of late-afternoon walks, this season of anxiousness and waiting, of patience and fear. I can’t know how long. So I just keep walking.
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