The news, online and on paper, is replete with stories about adult children moving back in with their parents, whether because of the pandemic, or other circumstances, always expecting they will have a room at the ready.
Perhaps it is why we chose to have no spare rooms, sort of a preemptive strike against an ill-conceived return.
But as my cohort ages, I wonder if all too soon those news sources online, since papers will likely be gone, will feature stories about older parents moving in with their children, rooms available or not.
After all that has happened, after all of the changes tumbling one upon another, after breathing again new air, after ceding fear to hope when I sit down to write it all I have at the end is a small glass of snow in the middle of July.
It is a simple choice, she said, bicycles or a cat.
I wanted to tell her that there are no simple choices in the middle of a pandemic, and those that seem that way, to mask or not, to shop or not can be life or death choices.
I thought about the options for a few moments, remembered the cats I still mourn like children who never grew into adulthood and said, “Let’s get a cat, its safer by far and I will not be hit by a car riding a cat.”
As winter closes in around us, even here, the Great Blue Herons go about building a nest, inviting us to watch as they make a home of gathered branches and twigs, oblivious to the state of our world, of the pandemic gripping us.
We watch respectfully, knowing that in this darkest of seasons, we are about to witness our own little miracle and will soon bear witness to the simple joy of birth.
Of course, she’s sitting there, calmly, staring off onto space. She has to know something is amiss, no one has come to visit her in days, but she knows that whenever, if ever, whatever it is that is happening is finally over, that they will once again return, stare at her, wonder aloud and silently why she is smiling, and she will as always say nothing, for she was once told that it is better always to leave them wanting more.
Tomorrow Paris will count its newest dead, and the hospitals will pray the tide of bodies has been stemmed, or diminished and none of those in the battle will pause and consider DaVinci’s lady imprisoned forever in her sterile room, an eternal prisoner.
First published in Dreich, Issue 20, Autumn 2020 (Scotland)