Escaping the Doldrums

I have to admit, weekends aren’t what they used to be. In the past, they were something to look forward to–outings with family or friends, movies, shopping . . . without a mask. But mostly, we looked forward to family dinners–especially those with the grandkids.

But this past Sunday evening, as I prepared dinner for Steve and me, our house felt hollow and I found myself looking forward to Monday, when I ‘d return to work (though I’m mostly still working from home,) when at last, my mind would be occupied by things other than what I miss.

That afternoon, Steve and I took a short trip out of the city, an escape from the doldrums. We visited a little state park called Cedar Hill.

The morning was beautiful–sunny and touched with fall’s brisk approach. The cool breeze, the warmth of the sun, Steve and Obi–all perfect companions as I meandered through grasslands and wooded areas.

The second best part of such long walks (the best part is being out in nature) is the talks Steve and I have along the way. On Sunday’s walk, we talked about missing the grandkids, how different last year was from this year, possible plans for the future, how we can move toward those plans, and what we can do to make the loss we feel now a more positive transition.

After about an hour on the trail, we found a bench.

“Do you want to sit here and write?” I asked. It’s become a tradition for us to stop and write somewhere along the paths we walk.

“Sure,” Steve replied.

Usually, we write a haiku, or two or three. Here are a couple of mine:

crows dot a blue sky
so far from the madding crowd
but footsteps approach

on this nature trail
Iโ€™m social distancing from
social media

But on Sunday’s walk, we seemed to need more than haiku. We needed some silliness. So, we wrote some silly sentences. This is another “game” we sometimes like to play–simply writing anything that comes to mind–the sillier, the better.

Here’s what I wrote: (Forgive the silliness.) ๐Ÿ™‚

The gravel beneath my feet looks a lot like oatmeal I ate this morning, light tan in color–“oatmealish”–its pebbles like lumps of oats all clumped together. At two, I might have put a handful in my mouth, but 60 years later, I think not.

Obi’s blonde fur glistens in the sunlight, rather like I imagine Steve must have thought his first love’s hair glistened while, on an afternoon picnic, he pondered his first kiss.

While we walked, I told Steve how grateful I am that I have someone who understands my sadness about the grandkids moving away, someone with whom I can share my feelings, knowing he not only understands, but feels them, too.

I didn’t say it then, but feel it now as I write this blog post: I’m also grateful we both find pleasure in words. On Sunday, words and nature helped us escape the doldrums.

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5 Responses to Escaping the Doldrums

  1. Time spent in nature is a cure-all for a lot of things. I especially liked the line about social distancing from social media. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. All in all, it sounds like a lovely day. I agree with Russell that being in nature goes a long way towards mitigating any sort of bad/unhappy circumstances and I also like the line about social distancing from social media. I’m almost never on Facebook these days, a decision cemented after an acrimonious and sanctimonious (not on my part) “discussion” with a distant relative on my husband’s side and a couple of her friends. I stay on FB because I use Messenger to talk in real time with my s-i-l in France but other than that, I’m pretty much done. You and Steve are truly fortunate to understand each other and enjoy so many of the same things. Any of us who have that are blessed.

    Happy Wednesday!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Jan Morrill says:

      Hi Janet–I understand completely about Facebook, and am not on it nearly as much these days. If you haven’t seen the Netflix documentary, Social Dilemma, I highly recommend it. Facebook was once a great way to stay in touch with friends and family, but unfortunately, I think its impact on society has been an overall negative. We’ve been played and continue to be played. Take care and good to hear from you!


      • I read about “Social Dilemma” just a day or two ago elsewhere. I’ll have to look for it. If you can find this book at the library, I think you’d enjoy it and it’s written by someone from the Silicon Valley life: Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by Jaron Lanier .

        I hope you’re both doing well, except for missing the family. ๐Ÿ™‚ Our older daughter was just here from SoCal for a visit and it was quite nice.

        Liked by 1 person

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