I’m sitting on the porch, enjoying the shade, the breeze and the quiet rustle of leaves. Church bells chime every hour, and cyclists pedal by. The parking spaces lining the streets and in the parking lots are almost empty and few cars pass by. A monarch butterfly flutters past. A yellow swallowtail stops briefly to investigate the phlox. A few bees buzz among the flowers lining the walk.
Sitting here is something I have resisted for some time now. Passers-by occasionally want to talk, and I’ve felt such an intense need for privacy I wait until nightfall to collect the mail or take out the trash. I’ve needed that peace so desperately, I sacrificed going outdoors even in the most beautiful weather.
Someone told me about a neighbor who worked in her garden only after dark, weeding and pruning by moonlight. Had I not heard that rumor and been afraid I’d become the subject of gossip, I might have taken up her nocturnal practices. Instead, my untended garden has become overgrown and overrun with unwelcome species.
A friend’s been cutting my grass all summer, since my hip still isn’t strong enough to push a mower. I now can drive a garden tractor with a mower deck, so this afternoon I rode in circles for almost an hour. Tomorrow I’ll trim around the foundation, streetlight and along the fence line with a weed-eater. The next day I’ll prune the roses.
Many of us have been angry for a long time. Many of us have been afraid. Yesterday was a particularly bad day for us all.
We want tomorrow to be better.