I’ve had enough worry about Covid 19. That doesn’t mean I’m ready to go dashing out into the world willy-nilly, rather I’m in touch with friends whom I haven’t talked to in a long time. Mostly friends overseas.
Way overseas, in some cases. Last night, I had an hour long video chat on Facebook with a friend I haven’t seen in more than twenty years. It’s not like we live a few blocks away, or even a continent away. She lives in Australia, I live in Kansas City. But through the magic of virtual travel, we each curled up in our respective corners and chatted.
When the memoir comes out, you’ll learn more about her. Marion de Nice. She came to Kalani Honua, a retreat center on Hawaii Island down near Volcano, where many had gathered for a few months of spiritual renewal. Marion was about three months pregnant when she arrived and even more when she left a few months later. Last night, she told me that this boy, who now plays football, sits down on the ground and meditates when no one passes the ball to him. I laughed out loud. But then, it makes sense as we were all doing enormous amounts of meditating and spiritual healing at Kalani.
I also called my Aunt Donna whom I hadn’t talked to in way too long. She lives not as far – about sixty miles away, across the state line in Topeka, Kansas. We talked for a long time, too, and I caught up on all the news of the Sunderland Clan. Remarkably, all the elders are still alive although I think my oldest cousin Darrell, still on the farm, is past 90. I also talked to my cousin Linn Sunderland whom I hadn’t seen in too long a time. He’s sort of the family-tree keeper. He is also, with his wife Pat, involved with others who are restoring the old school where we all went to High School and which has set empty for years and years except for class reunions. The plan is to turn all the classrooms along the west side into hydroponic gardens and sell the produce to area markets. The gym, which is where reunions are always held, is in good shape and any money made from garden sales will go to fix up the school kitchen so they can rent out the gym for weddings or other family gatherings.
Summerfield High School will live again.
I, or rather we, meaning my son and I, cleaned up our nearly half-acre backyard and removed winter debris. I feed birds and squirrels but other that walking across the yard to the feeder, the backyard suffered from my absence over fall and winter. I trimmed the rose bushes while Steve used the blower to collect the leaves in one corner of the fence where I compost them. Iris are beginning to stick their leaves above ground. I have purple iris, the old fashioned kind that smell like grape pop. The kind my grandpa used to grow, but I got these roots from a farm friend up near our farm. She gave me several bags full, so grape pop iris are scattered around the edges of the backyard slat fence. Naked Ladies have also sent up their leaves.
If you’ve never heard of Naked Ladies (as in flowers, please bring your mind back to the topic) they grow a lot of leaves which then die back and these long slender stems shoot up with bright and large pink flowers. Hence, Naked ladies since they have no sheltering leaves, only a long stem. But gorgeous.
Most of all, I stay home. Cliff does the shopping because he doesn’t want me out. Well, he mostly does the shopping anyway, and sometimes lets me go with him. He also does the laundry and much of the cooking. I am a spoiled wife. And very grateful to my mother-in-law who taught him.
Since the memoir is at the publishers, I had to go digging through all the bits and pieces of essays and poems I’ve written over the years and start looking for a home for them – they are tired of my very crowded folders. Here’s one of them.
Inching into Spring
Spring rain tagged heels of hail
throbbing across our house roof.
I woke, came to sit at my window,
brew tea, watch the show.
But it stopped.
And I sit in gray silk light
waiting for a daybreak long past
that will not come today.
The willow’s branches, softened
into leaf by three days of sun,
frames its new green lace
in a purple budding tree.
For three days spring leapt toward Easter,
until now, exhausted from the effort,
since rebirth is never easy, it rests.
This side of the window, I refill my cup.