Sheltering with Teenagers

Sheltering with Teenagers

I am working from home, but really I am sitting by the window with a view of the sunny spring yard, watching the gentle wave of hemlock branches, the uppermost heavy with masses of small cones. On the table are bird guides, binoculars, books of poems from Ellen Bass and Billy Collins. In the background the radio never stops. My sons, teenagers, are only a room away zooming classes. Each of us are warmed by streams of sun as we work in our claimed niches.

In the middle of the day, I find a stretch of sun flooding the hardwood floor and lie in it, read a novel, feel the warm weight of the dog against my side as she whimpers and twitches her feet, dreaming of wide open runs. A long, lanky boy lies down as well, to finish another book before dinner. In focused surges, I work.

After dinner, we take a slow walk. We walk as I don’t usually walk. Not for exercise, not to work out a problem or in a rush to complete an errand. But meandering. As if time is an endless prairie of swaying grass and we have all night in the lingering light.

I could stay forever like this. I know it is selfish to be so content when strife is thundering through the world. But today the sun slices through the fog and just for now, I want to rest on the easy side of its thin blade, when the days are long and still as a placid lake on which every good thing is reflected.

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