Time Out

Time out from the world news, from political news, from local news, from the television, leaves me listening to the silence. Even the cicadas are quiet this morning.

I woke early, wending my way through the neighborhood and the brief countryside drive to Panera for the weekly bread trek. A country miche lasts a whole week but requires an early rise because by nine o’clock it’s all gone and won’t appear again for purchase until tomorrow when I can snag a loaf. There are no preservatives in the bread so the supply is small and disappears quickly. It is preferred for it’s tooth. Heh. A baker’s term, I suppose. It’s dense and brings with it a satisfying resistance to the bite. One slice is a slab and just enough to support two fried eggs so it all comes out even. It absorbs butter nicely, too. But, surprise, this morning a sticky bun beckoned. I paid the bill with a gift card, a thanks from a neighbor for our house sitting while they took their little dog to a competition. She wins blue ribbons with regularity.

I slip out of the house quietly easing the car from the garage without waking anyone. I want the solitary drive on a clear cool morning undisturbed. I’m not a morning person. No cheery hello’s from me. It’s the only time I’m quiet. The drive is just long enough to have a quiet talk with God who rises early and doesn’t mind that my conversation is short once Bible Study Fellowship is over for the summer. There really isn’t very much on my mind that needs a good sorting. In this weekly exercise I try to listen. Not my strong suit, listening. But, you know, I am open to nudging and nudge He does. Not always, but sometimes with a good solid shoulder bump. Today He says don’t nag. Try patience. Go slower. Avoid politics. Enjoy the day. Don’t fret and don’t argue. Engage gently.

My mind is a racer, showing no signs of slowing down. Long ago my bestie gave me a small, beautifully framed little saying that lives next to my toothbrush. It says no one grows old by living. Only by losing interest in living. For some, suffering a stroke, even a mild one, leaves heavy fog that must be slogged through every day. Not much interest in living. When virtually everything is lost deep in the veil interest is hard to maintain. Resists stimulation. Requires enormous effort just to open the pickle jar. It’s a process. Too often the pickle jar wins. But sometimes, and just often enough to keep making the effort, we beat the pickle jar at this challenge.

While I did my thing at Panera, my husband got up, shaved, dressed and took his morning walk. It jump starts his day. He never gets lost, hopes to meet a neighbor or two, and returns to make his own breakfast: egg beaters, toast, coffee, a bit of jam. He likes a serving of solitude too. So here I am typing while he’s putting all that together. We’ve begun the day.

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