There was the week you drove to Alberta and the week you drove home. So much to remember and so much of it the same. The towns you drove through, the rivers you crossed, the mountain passes, the long run down from the Rockies into Radium Hot Springs where one tire developed a slow leak which meant waiting, waiting for the repair. Wild turkeys and bighorn sheep grazed on roadsides.
There was the week of illness (yes, that one) where most mornings you could hardly lift yourself out of your bed. You pegged sheets on the clothesline, made a vat of soup.
Weeks of heat and no rain. Where are those low clouds that huddle against the mountain, the dark ones, heavy with water? And the sound of rain on our blue metal roof, the scent of woodsmoke in damp air, the rainsong of the tree frogs in the grapevines.
In the night, sleepless, you read Joseph Brodsky’s “In a Room and a Half”, an essay about growing up in Saint Petersburg, how he was shaped by the apartment shared with his parents, how he can imagine and remember each square meter (9 per person, though his family was lucky because of how the grand building was compartmentalized into tiny rooms for Soviet citizens and received a little bit more space), and in the dark, reading, you realize that the essay is an elegy, every sentence threnodic, Brodsky’s parents growing old in a room and a half, wanting only to see their son again. Every isolation is its own elegy, you think, as moonlight fills your bedroom and a barred owl calls.
You won’t wait for the rain, you won’t wait for the fall days to begin with cool air and the scent of damp leaves, woodsmoke, the sound of geese against the mountain. You will bake the bread today and every week ahead.