Society Where None Intrudes

I haven’t been well lately.  And when I’m not well, I’m not myself.  I don’t really know what’s going on.  I mean, I know I have an autoimmune disease and am recovering from a concussion, but I don’t know exactly why they seem to be ganging up on me the past five days or so.

So before I returned to tutoring my high school student today, I made sure I had enough time for my “me time” ritual.  I swung by Starbucks, got a muffin and a chai latté, and then drove to my usual beach.

When it comes to beaches, I have an abundance of riches.  There are no fewer than four wonderful beaches within a ten-minute drive from my back door.  I am somewhat spoiled, living here.  I don’t think I could live anywhere but beside the sea.

My routine at this beach is pretty standard.  First, I play my location-based games (Pokémon Go, Wizards Unite, and Jurassic World Alive) because I am 50 going on 15.  Then I zone out and just listen to and watch the waves for a few minutes.  And after that, I will eat 95% of the muffin.

Except for today.  Today I forgot and ate the whole muffin — and then got yelled at for it.  By Charles.

About a year ago, I noticed a crow sitting on a sign, staring at me intently as I ate an apple.  (My snack was healthier that day.)  Because I was curious to see what the crow would do, I pulled off a couple of pieces of apple and put them on top of the nearby garbage can when I threw out the core.  Sure enough — after I got back in my car and shut the door, the crow swooped over and scarfed down the apple bits.

That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.  This crow (whom I’ve since called Charles, for no other reason than he feels like a Charles) has learned to recognize my car and will take his place on the sign to wait (sometimes more patiently than others) for his treats.

COVID has messed up the corvid, however, because for six months I wasn’t tutoring, and therefore not coming to the beach regularly.  And so when I pulled up to the beach today, Charles did not come.  And — without the visual cue of him sitting in front of me — I forgot to save him a piece of the muffin.

Then we both remembered.

Charles and a friend landed in the parking lot next to my car, and I hastily scraped together some crumbs from the inside of the muffin liner, feeling terribly guilty of course.

If you want to see what happened after that, I did make a little three-minute video to share.  You can find it here.

Even though I don’t tutor tomorrow, I think I will go to the beach to visit my feathered friend.

We have a lot of catching up to do.


Here Comes Teddy

The wind is whipping the rain against my window, and it seems to come in waves.

As we do most Septembers, we are dealing with the remnants of a hurricane that has come up the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, hit the colder waters of the North Atlantic, and become a post-tropical mess, sending its wind and water all over the Maritimes.  Teddy is no different, and Nova Scotia is bearing the worst of it.

I like listening to the weather outside while I’m cozy inside, curled up on the bed with my dog and at least one cat, a cup of tea, and a book. (I would put the Fireplace Channel on TV, like I do for snowstorms, but ‘tis not yet the season, regardless of what the aisles in the stores would have you believe.)

In the next room, I can hear my husband playing a video came.  A second cat has just come to join me, and I notice that somehow the jar of peanut-butter-filled pretzels is now empty.  (As the only one in the room with opposable thumbs, I am baffled.)

The first day of Autumn has come, and thanks to COVID-19, I still can’t quite wrap my head around the fact that both spring and summer have happened.

Time has broken, as a fellow writer said this evening, and I would add that it has also folded itself up, accordion-style.  Because I certainly can’t sense that those months were ever there at all.