When I was a kid, I loved playing in the backyard if only to observe the animals. I remember sitting on the wooden swing my dad had built and instead of swinging, watching a rabbit chewing on something green. (It was most likely just plain old grass, but it could have been clover.) It was minding its own business and noticing that I was a good distance away, therefore would not be able to disturb it. I’d see its head pop up and down, like perpetual motion. I decided right then and there that rabbits can make anything edible look really good to eat. It’s a special talent they possess.
I started humming. It kept chewing. I was going to Suzuki Violin School at the time (who with a violin wasn’t?) and so hummed a piece I had been practicing for my next lesson with my violin teacher. I think it was “Humoresque” because I was still very young and in the beginner’s stage of learning to play my new instrument and that piece has some fast and slow parts. Yes, it was “Humoresque” and another piece called “Allegro.” That would make more sense for the fast parts. Here is where the rabbit had an interesting reaction to sound. Whenever I hummed the slow parts the way my violin teacher taught me, it would continue chewing as if nothing was wrong. Whenever I hummed the fast parts the way my violin teacher taught me, it started hopping away, scared. But as soon as I stopped humming the fast parts, it would slow down again and the whole cycle repeated when I started humming the fast parts again.
You know what, it was humorous to watch this rabbit. It was a moment in time that makes me laugh every time I think of it. It’s an inside joke between me and that rabbit. Even though that particular rabbit is long gone, now when I get to watch a rabbit eat, whether in the front yard or the back, I get to pull this gem of a memory out. Man, my violin teacher was good.
As I see all these schools hosting virtual graduations, all of a sudden I’m truly deeply appreciative of the fact that I got to experience a real live graduation. But, stories like this one touched my heart. A university cancelled graduation, so one girl’s father built a stage in their driveway with a podium and everything so that she could have a normal graduation after all. Her aunt and family pastor gave speeches and their neighbors came out onto their lawns to watch and celebrate with her. How does that quote go? Necessity is the mother of invention? Whatever the quote was, this father’s gift to her daughter was it. And love. Pure love is what motivated this father’s actions. Building this commencement stage is a visual representation of what he’s feeling on the inside. When I read contrasting stories of violence going on around the world as a result of this pandemic, I think to myself, this world needs more love, especially the visual kind, to spread the love bug instead.
Saturday, March 3, 2018 – This was not the first Deep Thoughts event of the Nerdy 30s Ladies, but it was the first one I went to. I had been looking forward to an event where all us girls can talk about anything that is not guys, love life, relationships, and hair and makeup or whatever. Anything else at all. As usual, whenever an event was located downtown, I’d stress about parking. Luckily, I think on that day I was able to find a parking spot on the street somewhere a couple of blocks away. When I got to Opera House, I noticed right away this was not your regular coffee house. There was a coffee station, couches, and tables where you could enjoy your coffee selection, and around the corner another station where breakfast and lunch was served. It’s like a place where you can shift from breakfast to lunch with a simple set change. It’s like a sit-com! The girls I met that day were from all over the country and it was really nice to talk to each of them. One was from Germany and shared the same interests in writing as me. It was refreshing to talk to her. I can’t remember all our topics, but I remember talking about our jobs and spaces we live in. But most of all, I remember the feeling of walking away knowing I had made some new girl friends who had other interests besides typical girly stuff and I fit right in. There’s no better feeling in the world.
I once read in, I think, Reader’s Digest, that laughter is the best medicine. But then one day I quoted it to one of my friends in college during my depression phase when he didn’t know I was depressed and he responded with, “but nobody here is sick.” He caught me off guard so I agreed without thinking and when he looked into my eyes I think he could tell there was something more going on with me than I was letting on. He frowned in recognition of my pain and mental self-torture. For a split second when my friend could see right through me like that all I wanted to do was scream at the top of my lungs, like that would solve every problem going on in my head, fictional or real. I didn’t scream, but I really wanted to. Yet, for that split second, having that understanding was the only medicine I needed. My friend didn’t know it at the time, but I realized in that moment that while laughter is a great form of medicine, sometimes comfort is the best.
Black birds like to wait for the rain to go foraging for worms in the grass. They go when it’s falling and right after it stops. That’s the best time to see them act territorial or I would have never guessed they are like that. Each one claims their own grassy area and when another black bird gets too close, the first one chases the second one away.
Worms come up out of the ground, ready to escape the water that is drowning them. That’s when they go out of the frying pan into the fire, right into a black bird’s beak. The little goslings are out now too. I can see families of four goslings or eight swim together, one adult parent goose on each end. Geese honk at each other and chase each other away. Even though they are upset with each other, I think that’s their way of having fun in the sun. They are territorial as well, maybe even more so than the black birds. But I am not an ornithologist. I don’t know for sure.
The heron creeps along like an old man (no offense to anyone reading this that is actually an old man, I don’t mean it in any negative way, just as a description) and fishes in the pond. It’s like a pickaxe in the way it hunts. Meanwhile, hawks fly way above, searching for prey. Life goes on as per usual for these birds because they know not of this diabolical virus even though it can spread from animal to animal and from humans to animals and from animals to humans. Ignorance is truly bliss.
It’s been 1.5 years since Dad passed and lately all I can think about is what he looked like right after he passed. I play the images over and over in my mind from the day at the hospice and the day at our private viewing and remember how cold he felt when my lips touched his forehead to kiss him “good-bye.” My mind keeps blocking out images of my mother weeping next to me at the hospice and the funeral home because selfishly, I don’t want to cry uncontrollably while I’m doing the dishes, or working from home, or trying to fall asleep, or looking out the window, or taking a shower, or reading a book, or driving to the grocery store. 1.5 years and it still feels like it just happened. You just want to be able to talk to him again. To hear him laugh again. To see him find another way to tease Mom again. To watch him hit another golf ball into the pond again. To hear him say, “Time’s up! Time’s up! Time’s up!” when you’re taking too long to get ready for work in the morning. To watch an NBA game on TV with him again. 1.5 years and all I can do is finally shed some real tears when I get to the part in my J.K. Rowling book where Harry Potter loses his godfather Sirius Black. Harry Potter, I feel you. I was too young and naïve when I read it the first time. I really get it now.