One Bird

Parts of this are very hard.

It’s not staying at home and not seeing people. I’m actually good at that.

It’s not stretching groceries and being conservative in using what we have. We’ve been through some very thin times so we feel prepared for this.

It’s not running out of money or not having health insurance. We’ve saved for decades for this moment in our lives and we have great health insurance.

It’s not even dying, because, at 71, I have gone over the dying scenario in my head a thousand times. I am not afraid of dying, not afraid of what comes next, I would die this minute believing I’ve had a very good life, a good long run.

What I’m afraid of is the bottom falling out of my life, of losing everything. I am afraid of the free fall, the anchors pulling out of the sea bed, my small, weathered boat flailing in the waves with no land in sight. I am afraid, I think, of losing my happiness, like, any moment, it could turn into sand in my hands. My fear of this, this anxiety I woke up with and carried around all day like a sick baby, feels like a cinch around my chest, pulled as tight as it could go.

So we talk about our supplies, whether we have enough paper towels and coffee. We argue about where to walk the dogs and then we come home and sit on the back porch even though it is too cold for sitting. The sun is shining and it seems like weeks since we could feel the sun on our faces. There is nothing better than this – the sun on our back porch. We have sat there for nearly forty years, plenty of heartache and triumph scattered about.

We brush the dogs and let their brushed fur flutter in the wind, hoping that the birds will use it for their nests later in the spring. We fill the bird feeders and push the shepherd’s hooks holding them deeper into the ground. We think if the birds come back, it will be a good thing. Our boots are muddy so doing all this feels like an accomplishment.

We drink rum and make dinner. And then this day of worry is over. Not all the days are like this, only some. Tomorrow may be one of those days that seem bright and hopeful. I’ll only know when the sun comes up, which it will. I know that.

5 Comments on “One Bird

  1. It’s a bit like losing a loved one. Sometimes you forget what happened, what is happening, and you feel like yourself. Then you remember and feel lost, trying to figure out how you should be feeling. I do feel that it is a wake-up call for generations that have lived without fear and deprivation, in “the west”, where we were protected from these catastrophes that other parts of the world have been dealing with all along. Not that anyone deserves this, but I think the discomfort for many is having to re-evaluate what is important, after decades of thinking that is what we were doing all along.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so right on target with this. We have never had to deal with anything like this and we don’t have the patience and stoicism that so many others have developed. It’s so foreign to be frightened – a new experience – but, as you say, makes me realize our insulation from catastrophes experienced by others. Thank you for your insight.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I can so identify with your feelings. Me too. I live on the opposite side of the world but we’re all in this together, both the hopes & fears. Hang in there!


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