In Between

It’s an in-between time around here. Red, yellow, and orange leaves cover the ground and linger in the tree branches, hanging on til the next big winds. Rain alternates between torrents and sprinkles. I’ve just been in a “should I stay or should I go” sort of mood. (I’ve never quoted lyrics from the Clash, but those sticky lines stick for a reason.)

It may be that I got the flu shot and a full strength covid booster yesterday, so today I have permission to be slothful and treat myself gently, somewhere in between underprotected and imperviousness.

We are not done with covid (nor will we ever be apparently) but I feel the urgency subsiding a bit, and don’t feel as threatened as I did, perhaps because of all the serum in my blood right now, impending jabs for children, more hospital beds available for those who need them.

We are getting to know our doctors, for better or worse. We’re adapting, moving toward resolution, hope always on the horizon. My mid-60s feels like a long downhill slope but I haven’t gathered speed yet, and am in between.

We aren’t traveling yet, but we have concert tickets for December, still navigating those sorts of decisions, and everyone else is making their own widely varying decisions about that. I’m swimming again since I found a gym with an outdoor pool (rare here!) where I can swim in the open air and see the sky, ponder shades of grey, and when I’m ready, attend indoor classes.

The garden is between – peppers still on plants, and messy deconstructed winter beds. Between storms we pull out the nightshades and the black snaky irrigation tubes, letting the soggy marigolds and dahlias linger a bit longer. The birds enjoy the cover crop seeds that have been planted in some of the beds, and we hope the newly sown garlic will survive the squirrels frantic digging – hiding or seeking I’m never quite sure. 

The bird population is in transition. Chickadees and goldfinches have vanished for now, a few spotted towhees and flickers remain, along with the crows and scrub jays, our reliable year-round residents. I watch the Canada geese on their seasonal commute, neither here nor there. Every day I see them flying in long straight lines and jagged Vs as a few struggle to keep up.

I’m in between wondering what might be, dredging up and considering what is past, and lingering in the present moments of ochre and russet trees. 

November 1st I begin NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), writing 50,000 words by November 30. I don’t have a novel in me, but I do have a daily writing practice, and feel up for the challenge this year. I signed up for another round of a songwriting class, and an at-home retreat for five days in December. So I’m poised on a precipice. A mysterious something, between words, entr’acte.

After all that, maybe I won’t feel so in-between. I’ll be in full on winter, whatever that brings, plans for travel perhaps, a new normal, more manageable, perhaps less fraught.

I have been glad for some aspects of the isolation around me, but I’m restless too, and look forward to the weeks and months ahead, if only because it will be different in some way, though I’m not sure how.

In the meantime, here are some fall photos of lovely Portland, a recent day at the arboretum when blue sky poised to grey over, and peak colors are everywhere. The berries on the trees are festive and bright, the damp air a soft blanket, and vibrant glowing leaves are prayer flags shimmering in the wind.

15 thoughts on “In Between

  1. 50000 words! you go, sister!


    On Wed, Oct 27, 2021 at 5:23 PM Rivers and Roads PDX wrote:

    > riversandroadspdx posted: ” It’s an in-between time around here. Red, > yellow, and orange leaves cover the ground and linger in the tree branches, > hanging on til the next big winds. Rain alternates between torrents and > sprinkles. I’ve just been in a “should I stay or should I go” >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love to hear that you’re inching out of your Covid cubby. The friend who I consider my writing mentor has suggested NaNoWriMo for me as a great way to plow through aome material for the book I’m writing. I need the accountabiluty and the incentive. It’s gratitude month and my birthday month. The writing will be a gift to me. I’ll write you about my retreat when I get a few minutes. I can’t recommend it enough. Maybe you DO have a novel in you !

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maybe I do. I loved reading about your retreat. It sounds like it was perfection. Let me know if you join Nanowrimo, and we can be “buddies”. It’s a great way to pour the words out, to be driven, to narrow in, and to build a daily writing habit. Editing comes later. Thanks for your encouragement. I’m spinning right now…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nancy,
    Although I chose to travel internationally during this pandemic albeit carefully and vaccinated the unfolding of your Covid cocoon is palpable. I so enjoyed your photographic images of Willamette Valley Fall foliage but most especially the prayer flags!! Stunning. Once again thanks for sharing your writing and photos.!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. P.S.
    Sometimes I wait until I have a quiet moment to savor your postings but this time I dove right in as I felt the teasing line…”should I stay or should I go” coupled with the simply gorgeous orange/red branch of prayer leaves caught filled the screen of my new laptop! Write on…it so resonates.

    Liked by 1 person

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