He gazes across the newspaper spread before him. Looking out the window, he peers past an editorial he was reading, which outlines the festering mendacity of certain political leaders, while genocide thrives in Africa. Outside, the garden’s disarray, not inappropriate for Autumn, reflects his own spirit. Things need to be done. Raking, planting bulbs, more raking. The season’s story asks with answers and gives questions. There’s always something to ponder there. For now, nature’s bounty has shriveled to dry, itchy skins blowing in dusty piles.
After a bustling week with visiting friends and family, his home is a mere house again, and the clutter outside is a ruminative distraction.
The joyous noise has ended, the guests all departed. Remnants linger. A hickory smoked ham carcass bears the scarred record of hungry hands which sliced morsels into salivating mouths, a joyous sharing of sustenance. Pillows and wool blankets, suddenly cold, lie folded neatly near the futon bed, which is now restored to its day job as a couch. No evidence remains of the two cuddle snuggets which occupied it the night before. Nor any more tinkling sounds of little doggy tags prancing round Mom’s legs, skirting all arms but hers, bonded in devotion to her care alone, with angelic innocence. Glittering, smiling eyes have gone. Squeaky floors are mute. Missing Espresso, sounds and smells are silent.
The cacophony of stuffed hours has floated away, not laden enough to stop their exodus. Surrendering to the moment was easy with three conversations bubbling for attention all at once. Happy consociates huddled around mini-decisions, such as which leftovers to nibble at, how to keep the cats away from the dog, who wants to go on a walk, when it’s nap time. Ah, nap time. Torpor weighed in after all.
Events happened, with no one bearing singular responsibility. A snack or a nap or a laugh was shared. Familiarity insulated us from the cold, strange world beyond the glass windows. The den bustled with clusters of happy commotion.
Alone now in his newly painted (four day’s work) great room, his mood is comforted by the warm colors, gold, orange, deep burgundy purple. That was the idea. The gray day surrounds us all in our pools of warm light.
The garden beckons with the answer to this sweet emptiness. Pick up where you are and tuck away these memories for a long winter’s night.
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