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Looking out my backdoor: I have nothing to say

 

Last updated 11/19/2020 at 9:44am



Some weeks are like this. Nothing happens. My mind is either too restless to settle or too restful to notice.

My son Ben and his girlfriend, Kristen, are recovering from the COVID virus. That doesn’t mean I don’t worry. He told me only this much, “We are getting better but have no energy.” I am grateful for all your prayers and best wishes for my kids. Beyond that, I have nothing of importance to impart.

This week nothing more obnoxious than silverfish has invaded the intimate spaces of my wee casita. I can tell no stories of daring-do and danger.

It is autumn, in this, my Mexican home. The Fresno trees are shedding their clothes, getting naked for winter. What a silly backward world.

Kiskadees and various varieties of finches and tanagers have arrived and are building nests, competing for food and tree limbs with homebody birds which neither come nor go.

But that means nothing to you, huddled around your wood stove or shoveling drifts from your driveway or scraping ice from the windshield, gritting your teeth at my flaunting descriptions of paradisiacal delights.

I don’t blame you. Put the page down and go brew a cup of steaming coffee, a better use of your time.

Charlotte tells me she imagines me in my “Secret Garden” and there is some truth to that. My yard is walled around and while not secret, only I am aware of hidden nooks and history. Only I notice the large-leafed climber I planted two years ago, the one which merely survived for a year and a half but is now lustily climbing the wall and soon will have spread into a gripping stronghold.

Only I know where the colorful glass hearts are hanging against the brick, entwined with tiny leafy vine I planted, again, years ago, to cover my new bare-brick wall.

Visitors ooh and aah but mainly see a sprawl of green with vivid paint-like blots of geranium and hibiscus flowers. Rightly so, for my visitors’ focus is on telling their stories. I listen.

If you are still with me, please, don’t bother. Truly, I’ve nothing to say.

I suppose I could mention my on-going supply of bucket tomatoes, more than I can eat, but I’ve already run that tired horse around the track too many times.

Today the wind blows, not a storm wind, not a Montana wind. A mere eight or nine mph.

Today I shall be as a Fresno tree, and stand tall and full in my Secret Garden, lifting my arms for the wind to blow away the leaves, curled brown, papery dry and lifeless.

See, I warned you. Today I have nothing to say.

——

Sondra Ashton grew up in Harlem but spent most of her adult life out of state. She returned to see the Hi-Line with a perspective of delight. After several years back in Harlem, Ashton is seeking new experiences in Etzatlan, Mexico. Once a Montanan, always. Read Ashton’s essays and other work at http://montanatumbleweed.blogspot.com/. Email [email protected]

 

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