Solitude

Fall Morning at Huntley Meadows Park

IMG_20190928_085202549_HDR

This morning I walked at Huntley Meadows Park (5,063 steps).

The dried plants and coloring trees attest that autumn has arrived.

It was early, so the camera birders were out

with their tripods and huge lenses to capture birds

in flight, at rest, at prey.

I am not a birder: there were gray birds (herons?) and white birds (egrets?).

I have seen them there before; they are what I expect to see.

IMG_20190928_084202448_HDR

As they focused and hoped for the photography gods, as one woman said,

I saw a heron attack and spear a fish in its beak:

that moment is captured in my mind. After it happened

the photographers took, I assume, close-ups of the fish in its beak.

Their pictures are surely better than mine taken with my phone,

but I saw the moment of action that defines instinct, not thought.

IMG_20190928_084214126_HDR

My father was a birder. He would know their names.

My mother and I often go birding when we are together.

It will be ten years in December.

 

Yesterday, I spoke with a friend. Two of her friends have cancer.

It is upsetting, to be sure, to anticipate those losses.

But in trying to keep herself upbeat, she spoke about

beating cancer, mind over cancer, belief in belief.

I stopped her.

It was painful to sit on my balcony on a Friday evening

and think that people can fault my father for dying

within two months of his diagnosis.

 

There are so many things we cannot control.

It is not acquiescence, it is reality.

A bird, a fish, a man, a disease. Even a season.

 

Today I did not see many birds or turtles, as I usually do.

Instead, there were frogs, half hidden in the muck,

eyeing the world that passed by. Delighted,

only I took pictures of them.

 

Afterwards, I went for latte at Grounded Coffee.

I went to be amongst a flock. I did not want to separate.

Perhaps I am the frog, barely visible at my table, watching

The couples, the families, the children (one boy in an octopus shirt)

even myself, as we live this moment.

IMG_20190928_085622678


Today Is Saturday / Shabbat

IMG_20190921_163829211_HDR (1)

Today is Saturday / Shabbat,

a day of rest.

I will not work or do

anything I have to.

I deserve a day with no obligations.

 

It is afternoon.

I just got my hair cut

an inch-inch-and-a-half.

Earlier, I got a pedicure

choosing a reddish orange

polish to bring a smile

when I look down.

There are metaphors there,

comparing toenails to flowers,

or smiles to butterfly wings,

but no one knows or cares.

 

I sit alone at a small, round table;

we are both sunflowers, perhaps,

but so are the other three women

and one man here: each alone.

We are all doing things:

writing notes, reading articles, reading phones.

We got out of our homes to not be alone,

but only I look up from my screen / shield.

 

A sneeze, a god-bless-you, a thank you:

conversation.

 

Now I know why I don’t go

seeking not to be solitary

because I am more alone,

in this space

that is not a haven,

since, I see, it is better to acknowledge

aloneness than fight it

among strangers.