At first I feel mad at myself to be locked out of the house. I go around to try to find a way in the back, but (fortunately) we didn’t leave the back door unlocked. I call Leigh at school but she can’t get out of a meeting. I was going to get things done! I was going to go places!
But I realize I have everything I need: my computer, my notebook, pens, a little water left in my water bottle, and half a heart-shaped oatmeal raisin energy bar from Joe Van Gogh.
So I sit on the rocking chair on the front porch and look around. It’s a gorgeous hot May day, maybe the hottest day yet. Across the street I see sprawling clumps of pink dianthus behind a row of buttercups, under the huge reaching limbs of the vine-covered maple. A train horn faintly whines in the distance. Birds call frantically: Tweet! Tweet! Tweet! Tweet! Tweet! Tweet! Tweet! Tweet! I wish I knew which ones they were.
The ceramic rings of the wind chimes my mom gave me clink off-beat. A neighbor I don’t know waves as she strides by. I give a small smile and nod. I feel a light breeze across my face and hear a car door slam. More insistent bird chatter. Now I see a robin dart from branch to branch with a twig in its beak. I’m feeling grateful for my surroundings and a little forgiving of the pollen that’s been sapping my energy and filling up my sinuses for the past month. I think that’s a house finch hopping toward the sidewalk – and now chasing another one in flight across the street. Maybe that’s who was tweeting so insistently before.
And now another sound: a text. I can go get the house key from Leigh. My exile is over. Sigh. Maybe I’ll have to go do something.