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Covid seems to have a mind of its own—a stripping that flattens initiative, that dissects energy into unseemly burps, that short-shifts plans into uselessness, and impales spirits upon re-runs. Nothing seems to work the way it used to. Patience thins like threadbare overcoats on city pigeons perched upon window ledges.

A bleary scenario, to be sure, but not unlike November’s stripping, also in process.

No longer do winds tickle leaves from branches; they rip them asunder, strewing bits onto gables, creek beds, and wooded paths. Swirls of yellowish-browns skitter along sidewalks, bed down in gutters, spike in woody hedges, mass atop listless perennials. A solitary flame-tree cackles at this despoliation, until its own during the next windstorm.

Juvenile squirrels frisk around tree trunks, then gawk, stunned. Canadian geese meddle about like staid sergeants on a murder case. Swarms of blackbirds swoop and caw, echoing distress. Our world sighs in muted grays and browns as death stalks in between the next breath.

There is something to learn here if we are willing. It’s about acceptance of what is, including the cyclical nature of change. True, Covid has bruised every institution, modified communication, left a swath of the ill and dying upon our planet, and altered esteemed values—substantial losses, admittedly. But whoever said that we were more than human? That suffering wasn’t wrapped within everyone’s birthright?

Wounded as we are, hushness envelops us with the grace of waiting for what we know not: There will be some form of greening, if we are still and watchful.

It was last Sunday morning, around 7:30 A.M., when this dream startled me:

It is evening. I am alone, leaving a conference room, my arms filled with notebooks and texts. As I make my way down the empty corridor toward the garage, I feel great weakness consuming me. My legs feel rubbery. Terrified, I look for someone or some thing to hold on to. I am crumpling, the carpeted floor fast approaching me.

 The dream alerted me to my true circumstances, having barely managed my self-care, the previous day. I needed more help to remain safely in my home and reluctantly made the necessary arrangements, given my penchant for solitude.

During the following week, the hospice nurse and chaplain visited, recognized my deepening weakness and shortness of breath, then ordered medical equipment and supplies to convert my bedroom into a sick room. My end time seemed eminent. Accordingly, I took to my wonderful bed, never moving about on my wheeled walker unless supervised. My strengthening and deep breathing exercise ceased.

With my power of attorney, I also finalized the last of my business, notified my lawyer, broker, and accountant of this change that may or may not lead to the death of my body at this time. Family, friends, and neighbors were also advised, unleashing torrents of love and prayer. All seemed ready, but for what? When?

Then, my sister Martha arrived from out of state and for the past two days we laughed and shared stories, as only sisters can do.

And this evening’s phone call with a CPA buddy helped me understand the emotional bottom from which I’m emerging, that such experiences can occur before the last one that leads to the death of the body. So just relax when the next one comes and ride it out.

So, reduced to zero energy, more short of breath, I’m adjusting to the new normal with spirited round-the-clock helpers. My blogs will continue, as I am able …

I did piss others when I cancelled the hospital bed and other equipment—perhaps for a later time.

During summer walks I’m often stopped by fragrances, by eruptions of fresh colors, and by swirls of energy that quicken my psyche.

In the next block blooms a mimosa tree, its pink brush-shapes fancifully sweeping the cobalt sky; its sweetness perfuming the air; its feathery lime-green branches rippling upon breezes. I pause. I listen to the stillness. Delight infuses my senses and enlarges my world.

Days pass.

An afternoon squall collapses the blossoms, until dried out by the sun, their pink-splendor restored.

More days pass. Aproned around the tree are the beginnings of spent blossoms decomposing upon the grass. Yet the heady fragrance still invites communion.

Such largesse bespeaks a power that provides these displays from late May through July, every year.

Such is the love of Creator-God for us.

 

 

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