One month later

04.11.21

It was one month ago today that we went to the hospital and learned that I was having a stroke. It feels like a lifetime ago. The last of the three girls left this morning, and we are alone to manage things ourselves. When Sarah arrived, just as I came home from the hospital, there were sunny and cheerful afternoons and we sat together on the bench by the water, and I was so grateful to be home, so optimistic about the summer days just around the corner. Even Easter was a pleasant day. But, yesterday, Joy and I cut short our walk when the grapple snow and hail pelted us in the face in a fierce and mean wind. The NOAA weather forecast this morning talked about how the temperatures will be 15-20 degrees below normal at the start of the week, with persistent winds.

There is no surprise in this fickle spring weather, and it matches up quite appropriately with my grind of therapy appointments and irritation at the pace of healing and recovery. And, after the pandemic, this slow “return to normal” fits right in with the tedious, frustrating time we are all in, still battered by a ‘cold wind’. Even with vaccines, we are warned about emerging out of our dark winter, to restrict non-essential travel, and not to gather indoors without masks. In our captive homes, which we are anxious to escape from, collective grief hides in the corners. Wasn’t it in The Waste Land where T.S. Eliot wrote, “April is the cruellest month.”

And, yet, late this afternoon, Don and I went for a walk, ahead of the squalls we could see coming across the lake, and I came upon my first daffodil of the season. It was such a small thing, but it felt like a ”profound change” and just what I needed on this day, one month later.

Spring and All, by William Carlos Williams

By the road to the contagious hospital
under the surge of the blue
mottled clouds driven from the

northeast—a cold wind. Beyond, the
waste of broad, muddy fields
brown with dried weeds, standing and fallen

patches of standing water
the scattering of tall trees

All along the road the reddish
purplish, forked, upstanding, twiggy
stuff of bushes and small trees
with dead, brown leaves under them
leafless vines—

Lifeless in appearance, sluggish
dazed spring approaches—

They enter the new world naked,
cold, uncertain of all
save that they enter. All about them
the cold, familiar wind—

Now the grass, tomorrow
the stiff curl of wildcarrot leaf

One by one objects are defined—
It quickens: clarity, outline of leaf

But now the stark dignity of
entrance—Still, the profound change
has come upon them: rooted they
grip down and begin to awaken

2 thoughts on “One month later

  1. Ulli

    I feel with you. Just coming back from a run where the snow flakes were actually so solid that it was uncomfortable. Stay strong Rebecca!
    Ulli

    Reply

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