I've made no secret of the fact that the past several months have been rough for me. Although I don't talk about it much (it's not our way, after all, in my family), those closest to me know just how rough.
With my Dad's death, it was like something fundamental changed for me and in me. I've always been one to find the joy in little things, and I was dismayed to find that I had lost that. I honestly didn't know if it was gone for good, or if it was just taking a hiatus. I'd lost my joy. This was especially hard for me to process, because one of the very best things I got from Dad was the ability to find the joy in little things. In losing Dad, did I lose that, too? That would be almost unbearable.
It's taken me a while, but I'm happy to report that I am slowly but surely making my way back to that point. I find myself looking around with an eye and an attitude more like the one I used to have. Maybe it's knowing that summer is over, so I'm more inclined to enjoy the last of the warm weather. That's part of it, anyway. I find that I'm more connected to my surroundings.
The hummingbirds are still here, but only the females. The males leave first, so it's just us girls right now. The females are very active at the feeders, and I'm certain that I see their tiny bodies plumping up a bit for their long flight south. I made the nectar extra sweet this time of year so that they can bulk up.
The deer are starting to spend a lot of time in the back yard; the three fawns that I saw this summer have lost their spots. One fawn had a bum leg the other day, and I could see a bloody wound on its shoulder. I don't know if it made it. I hope so.
The raccoons are still coming up on the deck, but not nearly as much. They like to leave me "presents," but a spray is helping to deter them from that. However, when I walked out the door to get the mail this morning, one had left a lovely deposit for me on the steps. As I scraped it off with a stick, I believe I said, "Oh, you little bastard." But I laughed a bit, too...at this point, I think they're just messing with me.
The chipmunks I call Chip and Dale have also been coming up on the deck, and I've seen them come right up to the screen and put their little hands (paws?) on it, looking in. They live under the steps where the raccoon took a shit, and when I walk out to the mailbox, I look for acorns to leave for them on the steps. It's fun to see the acorns vanish. :)
I was getting ready to hop in the shower yesterday, and the power went out. After several cell calls to the power company, I found out that there had been a car accident that took out a utility pole. Several components needed to be replaced, including the pole itself, and the result was that I spent over seven hours without power. That was seven hours to read, and I enjoyed getting caught up. I finished my book club book, Kim by Rudyard Kipling. Thank goodness, because it was a struggle to get through that one. I was not engaged at all. Then I went through a couple of issues of Time, although I didn't read every article. Then I read a bit in a mini-encyclopedia about American history, specifically the early explorers. Next I started on True Compass, Ted Kennedy's autobiography. I'm really enjoying it so far (I'm about 90 pages into it). I was really struck by something he wrote in the prologue, when he was talking about finding out that he had a brain tumor. He wrote, "I respect the seriousness of death—I’ve had many occasions to meditate on its intrusions." You certainly did, Senator. That kind of choked me up.
Anyway, it was nice to sit quietly for several hours (although I would definitely have preferred to have power) and just enjoy my reading. In general, I'm in a more peaceful place. I still have moments of unreasoning and unreasonable anger. For example, apparently the pastor at Mom and Dad's church mentioned in a service what the church did with some of the money contributed in Dad's name. My initial, furious thought was, "Gee, that's great about your new communion service, but all in all, I'd prefer to still have my Dad here." Illogical and unfair? Probably. I don't care. I have a shorter temper than I used to, with little to no patience for fools. I don't let it out very often, though. I'm starting to do better with being around people. I'm pretty insular, anyway, but I had a hard time being around most people, laughing and having fun. I knew I'd get that back—I like to laugh too much to have it be gone forever!
Mostly I'm just trying to find my Happy Place™, and I think I'm starting to get back there. One of the things that I got from Dad—and I even spoke about this at his funeral service—was a love of nature. We talked about it often, and I know he was pleased to share that with me. I suppose it's only fitting that that is one of the main things that is bringing me back.