ellensagh

12. My Not So Silent Retreat

(a day in 2014)

Wailing as I leave Saskatoon. Fog shrouds the city and farmland. Orange ball outlines golden fields and burns off the mist. Only sound is wheels on pavement for one and half hours. Thoughts in my head are the suicide conversations had in last while after Robin Williams killed himself. Or did the depression kill him? Whose thoughts are in our head anyway? Is it always our thoughts? Our emotions inside? Why did family members? The depressions I and others have….. family ……I arrive to the silence of the birds. I am not alone. My sister and her girls disappear for the day from their country acreage. Her hubby shows me to the cabin. He thinks I’ve gone for a walk in the country. I make it to the swing. Radio and country music come on; “whose bed have your boots been under?” He’s working in his new garage; building on the new gazebo. He sees me and turns the radio off.Water trickling from the fountain as I hear meadow larks, bee buzzing by, twittering of song birds, dog’s feet on gravel and then bushes move as the dog walks through the hedge. Whine of a mosquito by my ear. Air gun as boards are nailed in place. Magpie squawks and still the water trickles as I see the beauty of lilies of every color; mostly yellows, peaches; burgundies. Purple delphiniums line the garage; hostas the house. Pots, pots and more pots full of flowers cover the step with trailing vines accenting flower beds. The whole yard is neat and tidy; well cared for. Lawns mowed; hedges trimmed. Reading a book I brought along; Wes Funk’s, Cherry Blossoms; thought was about a woman starting a new life on her own; it’s also about the woman finding out her brother’s a drag queen.I’m offered a bike. Today I won’t use it. I use their phone to let my hubby know I arrived safe and sound; and can now relax and enjoy doing nothing for 3 days. Dog at my feet. Still in the swing. Birds and water only sound. Cabin is fine. Brought sleeping bag and pillow; they said no hot water but when realize no stove; realize can’t boil water. I will need help; the thought of asking has me crying.Back to doing nothing for an hour; pull the book out again and when the brother asks the sister, “ARE WE OKAY?” I cry again. Barn swallows swoop in and out of the abandoned garage. A little bug crawls up and down my bare leg. Will I lay on the grass and stare at the sky? Still too wet with morning dew.Fresh peas, beans, carrots, potatoes, corn in the steps away garden. I shall not starve. White butterflies skip around and no cabbage to be seen. Leaves rustle with the breeze. Chickadees and a fly buzz by as I settle more comfortably on the swing. The new evergreens are twelve feet high; thick and lush with this year’s rain. The corn is higher.The swing I’m on is under a mountain ash with orange berries. The yellow and black bumble bee is over an inch and a half long. It goes right on by heading around the side of the house. Birds are right above me in this tree. I’m glad the swing has a canopy as I think they’re shitting on it.Darting dragonflies; small yellow ones and large blue ones float by. A gentle breeze, no clouds in the sky. About 23 degrees heading for 27.My legs need shaving; toe nail polish needs fixing; don’t have any and I don’t care. Think the wailing today and yesterday were the aftereffects of last week’s tour of where I grew up.Sit for hours in the swing. Spider webs in the trees. Flying insects breeze through the yard. Glad my life isn’t as complicated as the woman’s in the book. It used to be. Birds go by that make sounds like someone’s kissing.How grateful I am that I can do this. Have 3 days to myself in a safe environment. Love the peacefulness. I can lay down on the swing. The singing of the skill saw as gazebo boards cut. The cawing of a crow.A fluttering bird moves from treetop to treetop all over this yard. Me laying; looking up and seeing the aura of the trees. Also of the bird.I hear a whole variety of songbirds by the differing peeps, screeches, clucks. My porridge and raspberries seem a long way off so will amble in to get an orange and muffin.Hear my first hummingbird before I see it. The long trill of a bird wakes me. Love the book. Have to put it down every few chapters as never know what’s coming. Take a breath.Went for a walk Another area of the yard may become a chipping and golf greens area. Ate some wild berries. Too hot. Back to the shade.We now have a cricket or a frog in the direction of the flowerbeds. Sound of a ladder being taken down and I see a bird’s nest has been knocked off the yard light. Footsteps on gravel; a tractor comes to life. Put put put put.Bruce; the black Collie; part Husky with white paws comes to lick me. Not sure what the tractor is doing; sounds like pushing gravel. Lasts only a few minutes and then their is near silence again; except for the birdsAnd in the book, a woman says, “It’s for the birds.” Makes me laugh. The book is good. Constantly surprises me. Mom used to say, “nothing surprises me anymore.”Another walk. Through pine trees, beside a wood pile, outside the old farm quonset are wild rose bushes, yellow goldenrod; willows; dried up Saskatoon berries, glistening chokecherries, lilacs done; creaking poplars, green apples, some kind of plums, dandelions so big; unsure what they were. Dill in the garden stands out as does the Scotch Pine.So many red berried mountain ash; no wonder the bird sounds. Must be lunchtime. Hear my brother in law in the kitchen. I’m still in the shade listening to the breeze; to the wind moving through the trees. Sounds like rain but no clouds to be seen. Lots and lots of dragonflies. Only mosquitoes were in the raspberry patch.The leaves here in the yard are not turning yellow like they are on city golf courses. Are they stressed in the city? Too much alkaline in the soil? In the water?Love the book; lots of depth.Going to meditate.So much for that. Main floor of cabin too cool. Only sound is one fly buzzing on a window. Upstairs; temperature okay; too stuffy. No air. No sound.Outside on a lounger chair. That’s better. Three old lilac trees in front of me. Can see through the bottom five feet of tree and there is a fifteen foot leaf canopy above. A huge spruce to the left; a huge maple to the right. The dog at my feet is yawning. We both have a nap.Birds are quieter in the heat of the day. As if I’ve got to know all these characters in the book. Would like to meet them. Has me thinking of my own life and all the changes I’ve made; how life continues to change.A sump pump chugged in the distance; never knew it until it shut off. All is silent except the leaves.Crying about people not being able to accept people how they are. How hard it is to accept myself.The screaming of a hawk far away and now not it’s here. Wakes up the birds. We now have a bird making a long sound like the rolling of a tongue. We, meaning all the birds coming alive again. It is so beautiful here.I’ve been all alone here for awhile as my brother-in-law left to join the rest of the family.A long walk in the shade. Hearing a buzzy kind of insect in the ditch; seeing a purple and white daisy type flower haven’t seen since I was a kid. Asparagus in the garden finished for another year. A jet so high above letting out twin lines of smoke or a trail of whatever they leave; could still hear it even though so small could hardly see it.Back to reading the book and it shocked me again. Not turning out the way I expected. It is one of the best books I’ve read. I liked it better than the first one I read by this author and it was good. Touched me in different ways.

Started my day off in the swing and ended it the same way. About the end of a perfect day; weather wise and mood wise.

– 18 August 2014 –

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