Inside, our people or person or own chatter brain fill more space than they ever have. We grow to the size of each room we enter. Outside, the sidewalks are busy, the green spaces are full of people trying to deflate down to normal height and width. I look up and, for a moment, find solitude.
The days stretch out, offering the longest of walks. The slowest of steps. What if I took 3 hours to cover 10 blocks? What if I traveled to the edge of my yard and fell into a magnolia bud for the whole afternoon?
The calm but persistent early morning insomnia becomes a suggestion rather than a curse. Maybe 4am is the new sweet spot. Maybe night owls are my new best friends. No work or errands or events. No need to meet up or head over. Why not try on a different hour and see how it fits?
A cup of space used to form amidst the clutter of books, tissues and trinkets as M. hiked up her flannel nightgown to let me rub her hip. Sometimes we talked about her long nursing career or her Sufi beliefs or how soft her comforter was. Once, we talked about the okayness of dying. Other days were silent, spent deep in the conversation bodies need.
The longing has only just started. The longing for safety, health and leadership. For patience. For PPE. For puzzles. The longing for skin. The longing to pack the bloom back into its bud and make things unfold differently.
I went to my favorite spring tree and waited for the couple beneath it to finish their argument about her father’s cancelled surgery or their discussion about who should go to the grocery store or their praise for all the soft beauty of the world. I stood far to the side in the wet grass and couldn’t even hear the tone of their words. Maybe there were none. Maybe they were waiting in silence for the right combination of bird song and breeze to signal a moment of peace.
The map burns and melt masks the grid. Flamboyant vandals brighten the mask before the mundane gray and white petty criminals move in. Stickers rule. Except for rain storms and sunny afternoons and bored fingernails.