An Evening Conversation
About Nothing in Particular
Forewarning – I will not spellcheck most of this and certainly typos will abound. I don’t care – I just feel like talking/typing to capture the experience of this moment as I live it.
I am writing now for the entertainment of following my own thoughts. I’m not saying my thoughts are always graceful or clever, although sometimes they appear to be to me. I am saying I enjoy thinking just to see where it will lead and to discover what I might feel. God this could be so boring for other people to read now that I’m rereading this. No more rereading. It’s cocking the whole process up.
It is Monday – Labor Day to be exact…so September, and early. I am sitting contentedly in Redbud Forest of The Rosebud Cottage Garden of Cottage Manor. I like to name the different parts of our tiny downtown property. It makes it seem more magical to me.
I am tired but at peace. The air is warm and pleasant. I recently buried my nose into the velvet center of a thickly petalled pink rose. Its breath was sweet and smelled faintly of peaches at the back. I thought to myself, “how lucky I am to have these hours where nothing at all is required of me but that I do what I like and enjoy how I feel”.
It took me a very long time to create this situation for myself. I believed that I had to earn a certain amount of money or perform certain kinds of tasks to have worth. All my time and mental energy was either absorbed or interrupted by those thoughts. I let go of that. My husband and I have both worked hard to create a life where I am free to have these kinds of days. Too few people of the world have such golden hours and I wish they did. Perhaps we would be more peaceful a species. But I digress. I have no interest in speaking on politics. Too thorny, too spiney. Too pokey and hurty. No, only pleasant thoughts for now.
Beneath the eldest redbud, (who is really only a sapling), I recline in a wicker (plastic) chair we got at Lowes. Just now on the summer side of the autumn cusp, this adolescent tree has the wingspan and the breadth of leaf to provide the very first useable shade. It was this very shade I imagined I would sit under when I planted it. It is satisfying to partake in the success of an idea realized. I wanted this and so I made this happen. This kind of satisfaction is good. Satisfaction is more concentrated when it is immediately experienced. At least it is for me. But this garden has been a long time in becoming so diluting the satisfaction is bitterness. Bitterness that my vision wasn’t realized in one season but many. Lingering is the resentment that I had to work harder and wait longer for what I wanted. Such is life. Still, it is nice to be here, now, out in the open evening air, protected from the hot sun.
The mosquitos are either lazier now or they are less in number. For the whole of August they were as unbearable as the humidity. Together, these things made porch sitting impossible. The only way I could tolerate it was to wrap myself entirely in a blanket, with only my face exposed, so as to protect myself from being constantly irritated and lightly punctured. In this way I could only ever be out at night and even then only briefly. Obviously a human body wrapped in wool is not in its happiest state on a humid summer night. Being human, you would think I could have predicted this. Or maybe used bug spray. But – bug sprays often have cancer causing ingredients and I was honestly just too lazy to find any or purchase or make an alternative mosquito repellent. Instead I sweat. For about five minutes.
Alright, I have moved inside. I was wrong about the mosquitos. They were only hiding and waiting for me to relax so they could practice guerilla warfare. I attempted to spell guerilla as “gorilla” and thankfully spell check saved us both.
Inside, my cottage is very messy. I am in transition in many areas of life and this is always mirrored in my housekeeping. Things are everywhere on the floor because my head is everywhere else. I moved the stacks of mismatched pillows off the window seat to make room for myself.My garden explodes in rose blooms outside the window. Although the sun is obscured by a neighboring house, it remains bright in the garden, the white fences reflecting what light is left. I fold my legs Indian style to balance my laptop. I open the window. I listen.
The insects have begun their courting rituals and chirp and whistle fervently. An air conditioner hums one hundred feet away. It’s rhythmic sounds are comforting. There is a young child next door, his piccolo voice producing staccato notes. His father near him responds; a low tenor hum shaping a language of rolling “ohms”. Their duet is short. I can not understand what they are saying. Their words are sanded of their sharper consonants as they are pushed through the thick air and the cracks in my tall fence.
Stacked behind the whir of the air conditioner and unintelligible conversation are infrequent and erratic crescendos of growling sounds. These are the revving engines of trucks and cars arriving and exiting Madison on 421. What used to be unwelcome noise to the country girl of Michigan is a seductive symphony. I now love these sounds.
It took me seven years to fall in love with Madison. Seven. Doesn’t that seem such a long period of time to not love the place you live? I loved Michigan, my home state – even when the weather turned to shit. It’s the scenery of nostalgia for me. And I don’t love easily things that are unfamiliar.
The pain of resisting my life here was more uncomfortable than the pain of the idea of giving in. And the fear of what giving in might mean for me. I had my reasons for not wanting to accept this life here in this small town so far from my family but I was miserable with depression from resistance. From living in a stagnant reality where I only longed for what was not. Finally I said fuck it. I looked at the place I lived with eyes and mind willing to discover what was beautiful about it. I actually tried to find things I liked. I decided it was okay to make friends with the people and the scenery here. It was obvious I was staying so I started to participate in and accept what was in my present. Worth it. Now, with only my perspective and perception shifted, I adore living here. The same kind of mental restructuring has allowed me to rediscover my husband, and myself. Shit – once you get a bit of a handle on this kind of thinking- once you realize that you have some power over your own mental comfort, the world becomes a much more tolerable place.
I haven’t really much to say, no agenda on which to persuade you. Neither do I wish to inform you of anything in particular… it is just a beautiful night and it’s been a truly good day. I wanted to sit with someone and just talk out loud about whatever came to me in these succulent moments before the moon.