An overcast day in a beautiful semi-rural village on the outskirts of Manchester (England).
Outside, the leaves begin to fall, with a big chunk of burnt orange and yellows defiantly clinging to the branches, — thanks to a lingering Indian summer.
Inside, the house is too quiet and still. And here I am by myself in the study looking out as Geoff*, (*that’s how what sounds like “Jeff” usually turns out to be spelt here), the English farmer, and his German Sherpherd do their routine back-and-forth walk on the field beyond our fence.
In the background, iTunes randomly and perhaps coincidentally plays the perfect setback: Elgar’s “Nimrod”. And, being that time, It hit me. I felt It creep in softly. That which I knew would surreptitiously and very treacherously come one day. I just did not think it would be today. — “What the frick am I doing here in this part of the world, by myself, forcing myself into a very particular jigsaw puzzle shape to fit in?” “What wind possessed me to marry in my 40s, to move away, and to exchange the familiar for constant second-guessing?”
Luckily, there was a faithful box of tissues beside. And between sobs I nagged myself to stop this silliness. And you have an appeal due for filing in Cali on Tuesday. Stop now and starting working. Thankfully the clouds — I mean the ones hovering inside my head — did not tarry. I blew my nose, took a deep breath, exhaled, and fired up the laptop.
Moments later the hubby walks in, clueless to that bit of internal struggle, and I say: “I really would like to have blueberries with my coffee.”
“Did they have it in the Co-Op?”
“Yes, they did. 2.89 for an itty-bitty pack. But I want some.”
“Let’s go get you some then.”
“You go get dressed. I’ll wait in the car.”
And so it came to pass. I have my two little boxes of blueberries. And no more tears. And I think to myself, “THIS boy — who always put priority to what makes you happy — is why you are here.”
In a different life, this morning could’ve continued with me blueberry-less and still questions-ful. In a different life, I could be sad, for real and not just because of the weather’s sleight-of-hand, or Sir Edward’s tendency to the melodramatic. And so again, I exhaled.
Take it from me. Stay away from Elgar, and the Dvorak’s “New World Symphony” on gloomy, lonely, quiet, autumn mornings.
Saved the day
Outside the British Consulate in Chicago.
Postscript : In any case, Carried Bradshaw, too, married in her 40s. All in the name of love, and closet space.