Alone, but not lonely

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Though work on Blue was progressing, David’s been rather concerned about all the projects that need to be completed on Nine of Cups. He wants to get her shipshape and perhaps sail her to Florida before the holidays and those thoughts have been weighing heavily on his mind.

To make a long story short, we decided it was a good idea for him to head back to Chesapeake with Blue and make the best possible use of his limited time by finishing up the painting of Cups’ decks and making her ready for a passage. He left at oh-dark-thirty one morning. My sister, Lin, left the day after for back-to-back business trips lasting a week. I was left with an empty house, a fine vehicle and a cat named Tuesday ... who is not a very good conversationalist, I might add.

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I’m not often alone. I spend most of my time with David and otherwise it’s with Lin or perhaps an outing with a friend. “Me” time is a rare commodity and I’ve been making the most of it.

There’s time to write and think, putter around, shop leisurely, take long showers, read ... more thinking ... more writing. Time to take stock of my life, count my blessings and figure out what I want to do when I grow up.

The shopping and writing and reading have been grand, but honestly, the long walks in my beloved Bird Park near Lin’s old house have been the highlight. It’s a go-to place for contemplation and the sheer pleasure of being. The days have been warm and sunny. I drive over and walk for a couple hours, my camera always at the ready. The park is criss-crossed with paths and I know them all. It’s easy to get lost in thought.

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On the more secluded paths, I delight in the sound of my own footfalls crunching over the fallen leaves. I have to listen carefully to hear the babble of a little brook, hardly more than a trickle now and choked with decaying leaves. The pungent smell of pine mixes with the earthy smell of decaying leaves. The chatter of industrious bushy-tailed squirrels catch my attention. They run for nearby trees and scold me from above. An occasional chipmunk scurries under a log, breaking the silence. It’s soul satisfying.

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On the main paths, mothers push strollers and daughters push their aged mothers in wheelchairs. Kids squeal and play in playgrounds. People walk their dogs while chatting on their phones. The sun is warm and soothing on my face.

 The sky is blue and clear except for the contrails.

The sky is blue and clear except for the contrails.

The sky is a cornflower blue and clear except for a contrail miles above me. Winter will come soon and everyone seems keen to make the most of these precious, warm autumn afternoons before the snow and cold descend.

Lots of activities are scheduled in the coming days … yoga, pumpkins in the park, bird watching get-togethers. We’ve attended many here in the past and I’m sorry I won’t be around to participate in the upcoming events that are such a part of local autumn ritual.

Alone … yes. Lonely, no. There’s more than enough to keep me occupied these days. That said, it will be good to return to David and Cups next week … refreshed and more than ready for a hug.