I continue to wake early even though the kids no longer go to school. In pre-quarantine life, I woke early to get into the kitchen, put the dishes away, make my smoothie and coffee, and get out before the kids woke up and filled the small space with sleepy-eyed wandering and fridge-staring.
Now, with this morning time I have, I’m not sure what to do with myself. So I watch the world become light. The sun hides behind a blanket of clouds but still leaks over the horizon. The sky outside the living room is a smoky grey-blue. White flowers cover our neighbors’ pear trees. The trees look like vanilla ice-cream cones. I watch our redbud for red buds; I may see a hint of fuchsia hugging it’s twiggy limbs, but it’s still too dark to say for sure.
My husband is on the couch, under a blanket, with a cat and a laptop on his lap. Last night, as he checked to see how many pages were left in his novel, he wondered how he will get books now that the libraries are closed. Our daughter, currently asleep in bed, misses her friends. Our son, also asleep, wonders how long this will all last. As do we all.
Our rhododendrons are in bloom. Intense pink blossoms, like raspberry bubble gum. The forsythia is also covered in flowers. Bright yellow, like bananas. I filled all the bird feeders this weekend; a squirrel knocked down my newest one. Most of the trees are bare, except those pear trees and two other trees in our neighbor’s yard that are pushing out new chartreuse leaves.
I alternate between thinking “everything is going to be fine” and “this could be really, really bad.” For now I distract myself with words — I read them, I write them — and with the realness and persistence of the natural world. The sun rises. Birds twitter. Trees leaf out. Grass grows.
Our son mowed the lawn yesterday. It was the first cut of the year. It is emerald green after all the rain we’ve had, and it is lovely.