The mother-in-law is now obsessed with ventilation, and has taken to opening all the windows. It gets so drafty and cold we wear coats inside, and the dog prefers to be outside now.
In the woods, I hear people—children laughing, a woman calling—but I encounter no one on the paths, among the deep shadows and sprays of sunshine. The edges of the river are leafy and gold. In the susurrant undergrowth, some thing—perhaps a stoat—slinks.
The boreen is bordered by bungalows, handsome Georgian houses, the stone ruins of sheds and houses. The gardens are quiet in the gloom. Nothing moves in the windows, although light flickers here and there, from where more exciting landscapes and stories are emitted. In a field, a cow keeps watch while her calf suckles. Another field is haunted by a summertime memory of white horses and buzzards in the shimmering heat.
“Look, we are not unspectacular things. / We’ve come this far, survived this much. / What / would happen if we decided to survive more? / To love harder?”—Ada Limon, “The Carrying”