At Ease

The hot water heater stopped working. I always check the water temperature before getting in the shower, so I was spared that particular discomfort on the first of this year, but darn it — I need a shower. This is the latest stressor in a week that has included an ER visit by my husband for mysterious gastric misery, a car accident, a chimney fire, an emergency vet visit, a missed flight, multiple last minute overnight visitors, and a new job. And Christmas and New Year.

We are not set up for overnight visitors. Not one, and certainly not two. The house is far from finished and Tom and I sleep in a hallway. The bathroom has no door. Hell, none of the rooms have doors.  Naked sheetrock and exposed insulation: unfinished. And I have deadlines to meet, sick folks to administer to, and funky infrastructure to demystify. I came home from a dog walk to find the power to the house inexplicably shut off. And now the hot water heater…

The chimney fire got snuffed out, the husband feels a bit better each day, and airline disasters have a way of getting fixed if you douse them in enough cash. The car is totaled, but no one was hurt. The dog with the swollen face has me worried; the dog with cancer has me sad.

Last night the canine house guest barked each time snow slid off the roof – starting at 1 a.m. this continued the rest of the night. Jerked out of sleep seven or eight times between the wee hours and dog walking o’clock, to say our nerves are shredded would not be histrionic.


And yet, when the time came for The Morning Walk, off we went: the autistic, the rambunctious, the aged and infirm, and the killer. My bosom companions. About an inch of fresh snow fell overnight, smoothing out and covering up all the evidence of walks past. That’s where I fell when Hawk kneecapped me, that’s where Cinder and Peeka tussled and I had to scream at them, that’s where Hawk attacked the tree… all nicely smoothed and remolded into a fresh coverlet of white. Nothing but mice playing here.

It was sunny, and we’ve had a lot of gray, sky-spitting days. The sun, the fresh snow, the 30 degree temperature all conspired to render me at ease.  At ease, soldier. No grand pronouncements, no pithy or pretentious revelations. Just a few moments of ease, sun and relative peace. The day will bring battles and triumphs: laundry will get folded, appliances will go belly up and there will be “who’s blood is this?” moments. I’ll sort, create, repair, and triage my way through it, chipping away at the mountain of tasks this life throws in my path, recognizing there is never an end. Only the at ease moments to soak in before, once more, I am called upon to enter the fray.



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