Outside in the moisture of the cool morning, up before birds let out their first call, I watch a new day begin, outlining trees and rooftops in shades of blue ink.
Scattered raindrops, remnants of a night downpour, plop absentmindedly on flagstones, missing puddles.
My coffee gets cold fast.
But it doesn’t matter.
Inside is warm but silent, dry, lifeless.
Inside is still a mausoleum of sorts.
With each passing day, the house breathes less, its lungs frozen in the still air, among reminders and mementos of someone else’s long life of labor and adventures.
Life is outside where the air moves and touches in cool feathered fingers; where finches and wee birds converse, sing their news, share their dreams in tandem while I eavesdrop.
Outside I partake of life’s abundance of greens, of earthy scents, of delicate hints of aromas that travel past me on their way to elsewhere.
Outside, I find optimism and peace as I watch the day settle in with infinite precision and attention.
Colors wake up.
They find their place and purpose in lines and curves as the world resumes the identity of the day before.
Balance may always elude me as my mind and heart drift among clouds or get caught in webby mazes, but it is still outside that I feel less broken, more potent, and almost perfect like the scarred olive tree whose story is written in nubby missing parts, whose unheeded fruits stain the ground.
But he doesn’t care and doesn’t keep score.