By the time I finish watering the garden, my head aches, my eyes are sore, and there’s that irritation in the back of my throat again. It is a hasty watering. I look past the odd weed and ignore the pruning and thinning and general tidying up I should tend to. Just enough. That’s become my mantra in the garden this year—in pretty much everything, really.
The smoke is bad this morning.
A woman arrives at the garden wearing a mask. She lives in the condominium complex down the street—as do many others who garden here. I watch as she stops at a handful of plots and turns on the drip irrigation. She must have drawn the short straw today.
At the tennis courts across the street from the community garden, two men wearing masks hit a tennis ball back and forth.
Driving up the hill toward our neighbourhood, I spy an older man wearing headphones. I see him out walking often and wonder what he listens to. Books, I imagine. Mysteries or detective stories. Today he’s wearing a mask too.
The Baroque and Beyond program is on the Symphony Hall channel on Sirius XM, and there’s a folk song playing. Folk music is not my usual cup of tea, but this morning it makes me think about people sitting around in a rustic cabin singing and, in the process, lifting one another’s mood and taking their attention away from whatever outside forces threaten their safety and peace of mind. Maybe we could all use a little folk music right about now.
At home, the smell of slow-roasting tomatoes, garlic, and herbs greets me when I open the door from the garage into the laundry room. The dogs too—and we lumber down the stairs to make a quick trip out to the backyard to tend to some canine business.
I roll an essential oil synergy on the back of my neck, around my forehead and temples to ease the headache, and grab my MacBook to settle in and wrangle words for a while. But first, I gather my Bose Bluetooth speaker and tune my phone to the Symphony Hall channel. The folk music is over, and there’s a delightful piano concerto playing instead. Much more my style. Usually, when I’m home alone and on a self-imposed retreat, I favour silence, but this morning seems to need background music.
So, I check on the roasting tomatoes, brew a mug of coffee, settle in with little Murphy on my side to journal in my Day One app, and the day unfolds.