on the porch

2CB2E505-4EAA-4A33-8555-1820F61563E3Time to sit in the porch.  Two porches here—front porch with chairs and back with table and chairs.  Last summer, when we moved in, I was shy about using both spaces.  Upstairs (landlords and neighbors) were home and using the back porch and the front porch felt public.  After a winter and a quarantine, I am ready to occupy outside, share it with anyone.  However, upstairs is at the summer house since the beginning of March and not planning on coming back until the end of quarantine.  Muta has been at home in these spaces for months.  Now I join him. 

Whenever the weather has permitted, and there have been many chilly, rainy days, I or we’ve been in the side garden possibility weeding and preparing. The soil is not rich by any means.  Lots of stones and pebbles.  Digging it feels just a bit removed from a pebble driveway that was broken up.  The best part of it, the back 10 feet or so, grew tomatoes last year.  I made a garden plan—so much for just sticking a few plants in the ground in a nonchalant way—and we went shopping yesterday.  It was the first time Julia was at a store since quarantine.  We both wore masks and gloves.

We drove through the parking lot of Home Depot.  Lots of plants and lots of people.  People were trying their best to maintain social distance rules but not always working.  I didn’t stop and instead headed for Ricky’s in Somerville.  The direct route from Newton to Somerville almost always is through Harvard Square and there is always traffic and delay.  Although I’ve noticed an uptick in cars on the road since Friday, we still breezed though the Square.  Julia noticed that the anime store was closed and no one was on the street.  What I saw as more cars and people, she saw as deserted. Perspective. 

Ricky’s was not too busy and the people who run it very sweet and helpful.  We bought enough to begin planting and after a nap—the rather short trip to the garden center just exhausted me—I planted.  I need more to plant.  Maybe tomorrow or Tuesday.

After the turmoil of last week, it has been quiet.  I have not demanded or asked, except for household chores.  Julia continues to drift.  Tomorrow, I will leave school organizing to her case manager.  I will let she and Julia come up with the work plan and the working for the week.  

Is this a shift? What scared and saddened me last week has settled in.  Is this the end of pushing school work? Can I really let go of the expectation that one day Julia will be intellectually curious?   Can I really stop working towards that dreamed of time? And then what?  I am waiting to see.

Last week, I did taxes and cleaned out file drawers during our hard days of ignoring one another.  I have about a hour of organizing left and then . . . I am not sure. One evening, before the turmoil, I found myself walking around the house picking up objects and projects, bringing attention to them for a few minutes and then putting them down.  It was the same with movies and tv.  That restlessness was curious and I feel it again.  I want to say I am ready to dive in somewhere, into something.  I am not sure what. 

The sky is so blue today, the clouds fluffy and lazy. The birds are loud and persistent.  There is a wood pecker somewhere close. When Julia gets off her skype call with her mentor, I want to walk.  She is still going on walks with me.  Actually, it is the most pleasant activity that we do together. 

I opened as many windows as I could this morning and there are breezes blowing through the house.  This being an old house, I had to push and pull and there are still a few that did not yield to my demands.  The life force caught in corners and behind dressers is free and flying.  The sweet smell of the lilies that I bought last week is all through the house.  I plan to sleep with open windows tonight. 

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