treading water

another good soaking. all day long. water gurgles down storm drains to who knows where. i wonder what it's like down there. above ground, cars swish by in rivers. just like on my morning drive. lots of ruts and muddy puddles. on the backroads today i see exactly no one. makes me feel somewhat alone. but freedom and comfort come to me in radio songs and thoughts. any musing or channel i want. tank full of gas. my kid in the backseat playing with his bare foot and trying to chew on his sock. happy and calm. my trusty dog along for the ride. i consider my luck.

on the drive i think about running—away. past. into. from. i see white caps off simpson's point. the sea is seething. i feel it. our vaccine rollout is now based on age alone. talk about marginalization. the most vulnerable treading water—indigenous, black, brown, poor, disabled, chronically ill like my son. dying at two to three times the rate of others. as if life in this pandemic wasn't hard enough. a year of escaping each wave, of perhaps being swept away with half a million others in the grip of this viral tsunami. i think about privilege, its pastels and able-bodied shapes. must the rest of us crouch in the margins until summer? is that the american way?

but beautiful colors are beginning to emerge from winter's white and gray. the burgundy and bronze of small-leaf rhododendrons. the acid-green of mop cypress. the copper of fallen pine needles. the chestnut of wet bark in rain. mist is about to rise from the fields. february is melting into march. spring awaits us.

white skies blind at twilight. i walk the dog in the rain. ice and snow become reflecting pools. streets are half flooded. sidewalks are glacial in places. i trudge down the middle of the road. kick a sopping glove to the gutter. where is its partner? one driveway down, a crusty knit hat thaws out. who is its owner? not a soul to be seen except the fedex driver. he slips on a wet metal step at the back of his truck. catches himself. i ask if he is okay. "that was a close one," he says, as if to himself.

the moon is full. i can feel it in the way my son clutches me. in his intensity. can see it in his face this evening. in his aimless pacing. i wonder if a seizure is on the way. does he just want out—of this rut, this pandemic, this house? like the sea, i feel him. tethered together, we tread water. thankfully, i can do it forever.

Photo by Michael Kolster

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful ghostly forest that photo captures.