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  • corneliusmary

On Walden Pond

Outside my window, the ground is brown and green, dirt and sparse weeds sharing the space, and the trees overhead were variegated greens and dense and gracefully fluttering with the breeze. I am at Walden, writing, playing music, reading, lazing, not really Walden, rather my sister’s cabin in Prescott, but I am pretending to be on a retreat. It is quieter than Munds Park, less traffic, but my sister’s friends come by to check on me now and then, their mostly invisible presence assuring. It took over two days to acclimate to a task-free schedule, my unfinished unpolished essays nagging me, the unmastered music earworming me, unread books taunting me. But now I have started by initiating a loose plan for writing a memoir about our years of house-sharing, a children’s book for the grandchildren, and fine-tuning some music. Reading will fill in any gaps.

The front deck of the house provides a view of the street and neighbors and the deer which come around for happy hour. This morning, a lone deer ambled up to the cabin across the street, sniffed the ground, and sniffed the deck, and ignored me, possibly too hungry to feel fear, and satisfied or not, curled herself underneath the deck. I wondered, “Is she running away like me?” Occasionally our eyes met, hers begging me not to reveal her whereabouts. I replied with a sisterly, “I got you, girl.”

At times the deck gets warm when the trees pause, waiting to capture a breeze to send into the atmosphere. The uncovered side yard probably gets more ventilation, but I am too tired, or too lazy to check it out. Besides, it was 108 degrees when I left Phoenix, I can tolerate a placid 87 degrees.

I have been here three days while Mike completed another leg of the Arizona Trail near the Grand Canyon. Today he returned to recoup and head home on Monday. I once met a man madly in love with his wife of almost 20 years who confessed that the secret of their lasting relationship was that he was out of the country on work—work that he loved which is itself stimulating—several months of the year. My stint at Walden gives me time to immerse completely in passions that require blocks of time, Mike’s stint hiking gives him time to immerse completely in a passion that requires blocks of time, our two days together gives us time to share the glow of passions pursued. Oh, and perhaps, share another type of passion.

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