Intermittent Retirement

By Ariel Kane

Intermittent Retirement

DaisyAs Covid rages, protests mount, and the reality of racial inequality blooms into consciousness around the world, at home with my husband Shya, our lives have actually become simpler and quiet and sweet. Trees, bare branches clacking in the wind, budding, then turning a bright and vibrant green. Waves of flowers, yellow daffodils and narcissus. Bleeding hearts blooming, then early irises and fuchsia colored azaleas – all withered overnight when burnt by a late frost. Green, deepening. Deer and crows and bright red cardinals. And the two of us, no longer distracted by wanting and acquiring things we don’t need, stripped down to meals and laundry and floors and taking care of our community via Zoom and podcasts while reaching out with kindnesses to family, friends, acquaintances and strangers.

Red AzaleaCardinal

Fly CatcherThe world hangs suspended in a single mote of dust as it is illuminated by a ray of afternoon sun. Some days are quite busy; emails, stacking wood, mopping floors, shopping for groceries. Others hit the pause button once a call with a client is done.

Suddenly, for a day, for an hour, for a morning, we are retired. We are vacationing from the busy press of production. Time on the river. Reading in the day. Taking pictures that please me. Luxurious hours of romance with nowhere to get to, followed by intimate chats or deep and glorious, boneless sleep. Long walks to nowhere. Rereading books I have enjoyed. Listening to audiobooks all over again and savoring nuance. Bullfrogs in the pond, fledgling wrens, tree frogs – enjoying overlooked artwork on our walls. Quiet as the cars pass our home with less frequency. The trill of a woodpecker. The fawn following its mom with legs that are steadier than they were a few days before. Dodging other masked and unmasked people on our occasional forays out. Retreating back to the safety of home.

Tree and chairs at sunsetButterfly on a thistle

Through all of it the question: Now what?
The answer: Nothing – this is it.

Purple violet

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Thank you for sharing this beautiful, poetic snapshot of life!

Hi Ariel and Shya, don‘t have this wonderful abundance of nature but my flowering balcony around me but experience these weeks quite comparable to yours. Now as everything “reopens”, normality comes closer here in Germany, I would like to keep (“enshrine”- don’t know the best word) this pleasant mode! ?

Beautiful colorful details of nature! Magical! Thank you!