Truth itself is something you live, not something you think.
—Marth Beck, Finding Your Way in a Wild New World
Morning light nudges through the plantation shutters and cascades across the floor, giving strength to the five-foot cactus in its wake. Usually, it infuses me with the same. Steaming Oolong in my cup with the right touch of milk and honey enlivens me for the moment.
Outside I stroll in the garden, but see very few July lilies; sadly, they refuse to smile up at me this summer. Ever-present, the Weeping Balsam branches stretch down to me, beckoning me to touch them, I always do. The Komorebi of the sun through their tines delights me; I go to both of them and thank them for their feathery beauty, the stability they bring to my fledgling gardening efforts, to my fledgling life efforts.
The arrival of clouds is quite welcome on this hottest of summer days, allowing me to stay out even longer, I breathe in the freedom. Freedom, I knew it once, felt its power.
Always the loner, the introvert, I’ve welcomed solitude. That solitude came with a revolving door though, the ability to go, to visit, to chat with, to dine with, to hold hands, to hug, and then go back to it.
Closeness. I miss the closeness of others, to look at a friend’s face and see the love, see the worry, the smirk, the question, the welcome. A world without faces now.
The tiny dog beside me is breathing some of her last, no longer plays, eats little, moves little, but still loves big. She is relying on me to know when. I love her, so I pray.
After the room to room purging, the cleaning, organizing, packing away what I should, updating the will, touching up paint, refreshing investments, cooking-eating-cooking-eating, gaining adipose tissue, rug cleaning, phone calls, texts, emails, face time, book club Zooming, at home Pilates, walking two miles each evening, I return to solitude. Just me.
Thank Grandmother Moon for all the books and the folks who wrote them! Bless them, every one. Inspiration comes, I journal about the gratefulness. I meditate, but can’t stand myself any longer, cannot get out of my head. Monkey-mind takes over. I write. It feels better.
This room is lemon yellow, it was when I bought the house. I like it. But these lemon-colored walls surround me, confine me, and press down on my spirit every day. Every damn day. Me, and the lemon walls.
Rising is what I do, in spite of grief, chronic illness, financial stress, limitation, isolation, broken heart, no matter. Engagement has always been the vehicle for it. Today, these yellow walls will not let me, I cannot get away from them, from me. No wide-eyed optimist today, I won’t shove this down. I sit with the truth that I cannot claim this rise.
It’s just me and these lemon-colored walls.