I live in a place. This probably does not sound like Big News, but it is. Kim has pointed out to me on occasion that I live, mainly, “in my head.” She’ll notice my blank stare and ask, “Where are you?” The answer is usually that I’m thinking about stuff I need to do, or what I can come up with for my blog, or the war in Ukraine, or what’s next for our housing if our health declines. I think what Kim really wants from me is a bit of conversation, so she can be included in what’s in my head.
But now I live in a place -not just in my head. I know this is true because every day I find pieces of my place under my fingernails. I am engaged with our bark house and our acre of woods (which is really Kim’s garden). I do stuff, instead of just floating though being taken care of.
I see our home. Kim has been instructing me for years, with varying levels of frustration and disbelief: “Use your eyes!” I’m still not very good at it, as I don’t see some weeds or a spill on the floor (Kim says this is “a guy thing,” almost giving me a genetic pass.), but I have learned to notice what we have done with our landscaping.
|Our Bark House|
Kim’s photography has taught me to see the trees, flowers and butterflies that grace our habitat, even though I struggle with their names.
I have yet to know our place using my sense of taste, but that may be changing soon, as I have planted a few tomatoes, and our neighbors, Karen and Ted, have given us some of their strawberry plants – their fruit is “best ever” quality. I suppose I could love this place through my sense of smell, but that pretty much disappeared long before Covid, so smell doesn’t work for me.
One of the other ways I connect with our place is through my muscles – back, hands and legs. I move rocks, dig holes, trim branches, yank weeds, shovel snow, chop leaves, clean gutters, etc. Indoors, I make the bed, vacuum occasionally, open jars and reach stuff on high shelves. Did I mention moving rocks?
It will be hard to leave this place. Kim and I looked out over our yard following a day of welcome rain. “It’s not the same as having a landscaper do all the work,” she said. “We can see the love.” So, that’s what I have under my fingernails: love.