herb gardenCharlie came with his ride-on mower and cut my lawn yesterday. During the ban on yardwork my laissez-faire lawn got terribly uneven and lumpy looking, but Charlie has now smoothed it back into a semblance of suburban lawn. This is typically a contact-free event anyway – Charlie drives up in his truck, powers the mower across the yard, runs the trimmer, runs the blower, and off he goes. We like to chat if I’m outside, but in the interest of Social Distancing I’ll just wave for now.

Once Charlie’s finished I go back out. I stroll around most of the yard barefoot, but keep a pair of purple crocs by the backdoor for walking in the woods and garden where there’s mulch, too rough for bare feet. Doug has emptied the basement dehumidifier into a bucket and left it for me on the deck. I pour some of it into a watering can for the indoor plants, and distribute the rest to some of the potted deck plants. The begonias have recovered from their infestation and are leafing back out. The morning glories are halfway up their trellis. The weather has cooled, but the supposedly overheated petunia is still producing striped flowers.

I am isolated, insofar as all my concerts, operas, dinners out, bookstore cloudsbrowsing, lunches with friends, and visits with far-flung family are cancelled. But when I walk outside and see the lawn, the flowers, the garden, the trees, the sky, I feel the calm and satisfaction they have always brought me, huge, deep, and familiar, and other considerations fall away. Deep breaths. Yes, the world is still here. What a relief.

And of course I do have Doug for those hugs, lunches, and dinners.


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