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A Little Peace And Quiet, Or, Saturday Morning at 9:46am

It’s gray and overcast this morning. I couldn’t be more pleased.

I don’t know if the sun was so strong when I was young, but these days I find myself holding my hand over my head in protection when I go out without a hat. My hair is warm to the touch and I worry about my scalp. Anyone else?

It’s also possible I am just plain content right now. Today marks four months exactly since my mother died. The new fence along one side of my yard was finished up just yesterday. The second draft of my novel is polished, and out and about in the world. Everyone else in the house is asleep and it feels so peaceful. Big things, little things, big things.

I would never have guessed that life at 62 might be turbulent. Some of the dips and leaps have been my doing, nobody made me write a dang novel. But also I didn’t know that an inevitable loss isn’t always simple or easy. And let us not forget my gut biome, or brain chemistry, or past life as a masked torturer–what do we believe is responsible for our temperament these days?

I am grateful for the gray sky and the one bird crying “Kee, kee, kee,” from a suburban tree I cannot see. I am glad that I insisted on pinning a flower to my dress for my mother’s memorial, that my husband texted me photos from the Whole Foods flower array from which to choose, that I picked statice. That I then put the leftover statice on top of the basket on my hearth that also holds lavender bunches I had tied up with purple ribbon, when, I can’t remember. I’m even happy about the television cables, a sturdy antidote to sentiment.

I hope the house stays quiet a little longer but the birds should feel free to make a lot of noise.

I’ll be off next week to sit around blinking for a while. Have a wonderful weekend.

34 Responses

  1. It’s grey and overcast here too, but the sun is starting to break through. Like you, the heat of the sun rays feel so intense on my skin and scalp..climate change?

    Yes to the dips and leaps, so many, and so unexpected. xo

  2. Like you, I am surprised that life in my 60s is so turbulent. I am so glad that you are finding some peace.

  3. Loss is always sad and it takes time to be reconciled with it. I don’t know is it worse to be prepared in a way or when it’s a sudden bereavement….
    I have statice in a earthenware pot in my dining room
    Have a lovely weekend

    1. @Dottoressa, I love thinking that thousands of miles away you too are looking at statice. Sadness isn’t a strength of mine, I’m having to learn it. Which is good, I think, but not easy.

  4. I’m loving that our foggy morning/warm afternoon weather pattern continues.

    Turbulent, yes. Change is a constant. The world in general feels more turbulent, so I’m grateful for the more quiet, settled days.

    1. @Susan B., Marine layer forever:). And that’s true, the world does feel more turbulent, my little sagas are small in comparison but probably get whipped about by the larger issues.

  5. What a beautiful moment – its own kind of sadhana. What I have found, at this transformational time in my life (to phrase it in an upbeat fashion), is that enlightenment and deep peace, the kind that comes from gratitude, are everywhere – if briefly. You just click in whenever it’s accessible.

    Do show us the fence someday soon :-) And while I’m in my yoga zone, that container is a gorgeous metaphor for bramacharya.

    1. @K-Line, That’s it, we just stay open and then when we feel its presence we wait.

      And I promise you the fence isn’t worth a gander – it’s the kind of plank on plank good neighbor fence whose worth is measured only by the degree to which it disappears;).

  6. Statice in Spanish are called “siemprevivas”: always alive. They are popular choice for honouring the dead in Hispanic countries.

    Looking forward to your novel.

    1. @aa, That is absolutely wonderful to discover. Thank you. And one way or another this story will be available to read, some day. xox.

  7. I love the photo, the statice on top of the lavender, so peaceful, and yes the cables in the corner as well, reminding us that life is always a bit messy, even when it is good and contentment abounds.

    And thank you for your comment. You pinned it exactly, something so obvious but which I refused to see..

  8. I love it when I remember that, oh yes, today is Saturday, check if Lisa has posted. And I’m rewarded by such a lovely reflection: the clouds, the connection to your mother’s memorial, the mood.

    These bright skies with no clouds quickly become too much for me and have for many years. It’s one of the reasons I enjoy evening laps when I can, instead of afternoon laps. I went to the beach in Half Moon Bay yesterday, and at least there was fog in front of me and fog behind me to relieve the brightness there. The waves were gorgeous and families were having fun, but one didn’t have to go far if one wanted more solitude. I was loving the number of languages that drifted toward me, and I even caught sight of a sea lion.

    Enjoy your week.

  9. “I’m even happy about the television cables, a sturdy antidote to sentiment.”

    — What a great line and image!

    Even in grief, or because of grief, your words are crystalline.

  10. My experience is: Aging and loss,unfortunately,go hand in hand. The resulting sadness follows. The passing of time eventually brings healing as our new reality is established. And the process repeats and each loss is different Sights and sounds of nature are always comforting. Bird songs are blissful. A quiet day sounds perfect. Great to hear draft #2 of the novel is complete. Another great milestone! The NE is sweltering in 100 degree heat. Monday is to be 80 degrees and more temperate. Looking forward to a new day and a fresh start.

    1. @Susan, A new day and a fresh start. And, a fresh start to mull over what you say. Age and loss go hand in hand.

  11. Gray and overcast would be so refreshing here where it has been in the upper 90s all week. So happy to hear that draft #2 is finished and look forward to seeing it in print! Tonight we (my daughters and I) look forward to spending time in air-conditioned comfort at the movie theater watching The Farewell. Have a good weekend!

  12. Your photo is lovely and reminds me of better days when Fall is closer. In Missouri like so much of the country we are baking under the July sky.
    Yes, I shield my face from the sun perhaps, believing I can stave off a wrinkle and keep my face cool.
    I’m excited for you about your book.
    Sixty seems to be a time of gratitude.


  13. I think age and loss do go together. Do you ever hear of the death of some famous person and think “huh. I remember them “. The older we get, the more we lose both those that were part of our lives and those whom we just knew from news

    Enjoy your week.

  14. This is such a lovely post. Your writing, of course, always so eloquent and so clearly you. But also just knowing that you’re content, feeling at peace, enjoying the calm grey of dawn and birdsong. xo

  15. Since I turned 60, I have: met a new partner, moved home, renovated my flat, had changes made in our house, emptied and rented my father’s house, my father has died, I’ve fallen out with two friends, fallen out with my biggest client, taken up painting, been to the Antarctic, made new friends, acquired new work, met my late partner’s son for the first time… and I’m not yet 64. I don’t think life necessarily becomes quiet when you turn 60, and changes in life acquire a lot of adjustment. But I think that for both you and me, those changes are largely good.

    1. @Ruth, I feel lucky that yes, these changes have been largely good. I’m thinking I’d like to go to the Antarctic too. I admire your resourcefulness, accomplishments, and sense of adventure.

  16. I very much enjoy peace and quiet. And I think the 60’s are a very difficult decade indeed – many changes, much loss, ends of things, struggling to see the beginnings of new things – but that may also provide a kick-start to late-life creativity. With nothing to lose and no worries about what others will think, the field is clear. Good luck with the novel. I look forward to reading it.

  17. Why do I go I’m vacation when I can read your prose and feel relaxation and peace? It would save me thousands! xoxo Beautiful as always, missy.

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