I dreamed we would sit out here together, him and me, in our peaceful back yard. If we ever did, it wasn't often. Maybe once or twice, early on — since moving here at the start of 2010. But that's why there are two chairs. Now there is only one small coffee table between them; there used to be a long, low one in front and the chairs were side by side. I think we did do it, once or twice.
He needed to get some sun, for his Vitamin D, after he started resting indoors so much of the time. The back yard is shaded. For a dutiful 20 minutes he would sit out on the front verandah instead — a tiny space at the top of the steps. There was room for one chair, which either one of us used if we were out there singly. If we were both there, I gave him the chair and I sat on the top step, my back against the railing. Usually the two cats would join us, each taking one of the lower steps.
Now the cats and I are sad, but adjusting. They do still join me if I sit out the front, but seldom when I'm here out the back in the mornings, meditating. Mornings are sleep time for them, after breakfast. They wake up at lunch time, and may then decide to make their stately way outside.
In the summer, which is coming fast, I'll be glad this back yard is well shaded. I sit here alone — as I did, too, when he was alive and keeping to his bed — and relish the beauty.
Yet I feel wistful that we never got to sit out here together very much, with cuppas and books, companionably. Nor did we, come to think of it, at other houses. We thought we'd do so at our second Pottsville home; it had a lovely back verandah with garden. But we had neighbours who, despite being nice people and good neighbours, used to converse mostly by yelling, and couldn't get the idea of toning it down. It was fine when we were indoors, but sure ruined pleasant times on our verandah!
And in the other homes, I would as like as not use my verandah-sitting for free writing, as I'm doing now — well, not quite as now; I used a paper notebook and a pen (iPads had not been invented) — while he would be at his desk, working on his computer, writing too.
'You are both very driven people,' our psychologist once observed — not judgmentally, but as descriptive fact. Yes, we were: always driven by the urge to write, to network, to advance spiritually, to heal and empower others, to leave the world better than we found it — all those things, but above all the writing. And of course I still am.
I don't now experience it as bring driven, however. It's just what I do. Now that I am on my own, it's not quite so hard to squeeze it into the time available. Also I am more relaxed about it now, and about everything. A year after his death, I am still recovering from the stress and work of those last years. My body and psyche have slowed right down. And I finally have the realisation that I don't have to rush and push and bust a gut. If I don't write a poem today, I might write one tomorrow. Heck, I'm so prolific, I've got hundreds of poems already written. I never have to write another. I shall, though, when I feel like it. The only urgency will be the poem's demand to be created.
Life has become about enjoying myself, doing what I like. I have long held to the 'follow your joy [bliss/excitement]' rule for living. Now I am even freer to do that.
This principle guides me well.