May 31, 2019

     On Wednesday, we took our first beach walk of the season — a chilly, fairly speedy saunter out to Napatree Point. It was a lovely day, even though clouds pretty much covered the sky. Somehow, there was a perfect clarity over the entire scene – the sand and new grass of the shore and the stretching-out ocean. I told Cia I was almost glad it was not sunny, since the absence of glare made the scene almost more translucent.

two lucky beach saunterers …
… on a beautiful beach

     This morning, we trooped up and down the path at the Peace Sanctuary in the almost silence of the early hour. We were quiet most of the way, but several times, Cia almost shouted with happiness upon seeing some special flowers.

Here she is, admiring some flowers, just after gasping with joy.


Three Friends and Cherries

May 28, 2019
     Yesterday, Matty came over after lunch, and we three spent several hours in the shade out back, carrying on a thoughtful, far-roaming conversation – typical of the kind of talks we have when Matty visits. It was a perfect pre-summer day – warm but not hot, with steady comforting breezes and the softest sunshine – and all this made our conversation even more memorable for me. We wandered from topic to topic, much of it springing from Matty’s customary wide and profound reading. (What helped us along, perhaps, was the ice water and plate of delicious cherries that Cia brought out on a tray for us.) In the end, when we gave our hugs and goodbyes, I felt both tired and refreshed – tired from thinking way down deep, and refreshed from having so many new ideas spring up in my mind. Thanks, Matty and Cia!

Good Friends, a River and a Hammock

May 24, 2019
            Today we had our good friends Sarah and Harvey over for lunch, and it was a laughter-filled few hours, for sure. I found it very relaxing to share thoughts across the table – thoughts and memories and stories and interests. We laughed almost non-stop as we sipped my homemade minestrone, and the gelato with rhubarb-strawberry sauce, was easy to enjoy while laughing. They are good friends, and it was good to refresh our friendship today.     
May 27

      This morning I took an invigorating 5 mile walk along River Road, under the softest of blue skies and helped along by lively May breezes. It was the longest walk I’ve done this season, and I felt comfortable and peppy the entire way. There’s something about this world that’s miraculous (no kidding!) and this morning beside the Mystic River I was witness to it once again in my awesomely lucky life.

a little rapids beside the river


Hard-working Cia has been loving the hammock these days, not for long lengths of time, but just for short reviving naps in the afternoon.

A Non-stop, Blossoming Worker

May 23, 2019

      Yesterday, I saw the 100,000th++flowering of my beloved wife, Delycia, and it was as though she blossomed, this time, into acres and acres of flowers. She’s been almost a non-stop, go-go worker since the day I met her (even though, oddly enough, she was sitting down in a very relaxed manner when I first met her at the Natick Mall), but the last few days have been like her engine’s been running at some kind of super-speed, as she’s gone through the house and yard with her scouring, flowering energies. At some point in the afternoon yesterday, I just sat back in my mind and marveled at what she was doing – marveled, I guess, at the ‘flowers’ my beloved was producing wherever she turned. In the last few weeks she has: thoroughly rearranged our overall budget, carefully analyzed our tax forms and discovered a serious discrepancy, laid down mulch among her widespread gardens and trimmed and weeded them, scoured and polished her bathroom, cleaned and removed several bookcases, etc. etc. etc. etc. Like the flowers in her gardens, she is always unfolding and flourishing, ever since I’ve known her, but in these last few days (weeks? months?) she’s been an absolute flowering storm. My hunch is I should just get out of the storm’s path, assist it as much as possible, and enjoy the amazement of it all.    

Delycia the Superworker!

Walking and Quizzing

May 22, 2019
            Yesterday, after breakfast, we did four fairly fast walks up and down the Peace Sanctuary road on a perfectly splendid spring morning. There was coolness, but just enough to keep us from perspiring, not enough to be uncomfortable. I did some good and quiet ‘Matty time’ meditations as we walked, always doing my best to keep up with fast-striding Cia.

Later, we drove up to Jamie’s for another evening with the kids, and it was, as usual, a steadily happy and relaxing time. For a few good minutes, Delycia and I sat outside on a gliding seat and enjoyed the peaceful atmosphere of Jamie’s property. We often sit outside at home, but yesterday we enjoyed the very special quiet at Jamie’s place, much quieter, strangely, than our home in our peaceful neighborhood in Mystic. We had a wonderful time during dinner, with me asking what I thought were fairly tough quiz questions and Noah and Ava (and Cia) answering them bing-bing-bing, with hardly a pause. I tried to eat my food, but my amazement and steady laughter made it difficult.

A Hard-laboring Lady

May 20, 2019
Today was beautiful almost summer-like day, a perfect one for working outside. Cia was outside almost from dawn to dark, pulling weeds, watering her thriving flowers and shrubs, trimming bushes, loading bags with brush for the landfill, digging out good soil from the brick planter in front of the porch that we’ve decided to do away with,
and cleaning the last of the firewood from the porch. I was amazed, but shouldn’t have been, because it was just Cia being Cia – working and working and accomplishing and accomplishing.

And what did I accomplish today? Well, I wrote a poem I like in the morning, did some excellent spiritual reading, and then, after lunch, visited a senior-living facility with Cia near our house, just by way of checking it out. We had a friendly, fairly thorough tour, including one apartment, but I think, in the end, we were not overly impressed. The chances of us ending up at Masonicare are fairly slim to none.

Petunias and a 3-Miler

May 17 Friday
For the last few days I have been preparing my mom’s memorial petunia garden – cleaning out the year’s debris, digging up sprouts of weeds and miscellaneous debris, and – just today – setting in the first of 26 petunia plants. It’s a cool day with light rain sprinkles now and then, so I had to call it quits around 4:00, but tomorrow looks like somewhat sunny weather, so I should be able to plant the remaining flowers. I’ve been thinking of my mom and her dear love of flowers, but, probably because she was always busy caring for 9 children, she had little time for serious gardening, so she would send one of us out to the nursery sometime in early May to purchase her beloved annuals, of which petunias were among her favorites. Now, many years after her passing, her petunias will be spreading and shining with colors for the next few months, and I will sometimes sit beside her garden and talk quietly with my dearly beloved mom.

Yesterday, we walked to downtown Mystic and back (about 3 miles), and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. It’s a somewhat noisy route, along busy Rte. 27, but I managed to think about things other than the noise – like how lucky my life is and always has been –
which managed to make it a very pleasant walk with my dearest friend in the world.  

Kids and Colors in ‘The Quiet Corner’

May 15, 2019    

Yesterday, we spent another few wonderful hours in “the quiet corner” of Connecticut, shepherding the grandchildren back from school to Jamie’s, and then enjoying their company over dinner. The scenic drive was as pleasant as always. We both enjoyed the look of the trees beside the roads and in the nearby and distant hills – so many soft shades of colors as the trees take off into another season of blossoming and spreading. Cia has helped me appreciate this sometimes unseen wonder – the way colors in nature very slowly shift in the spring months.

Mowing and Meditating

May 10, 2019

I mowed the lawn yesterday – the second mowing of the season – and, surprisingly, I actually enjoyed the job! I strolled behind the bulky, noisy machine as it clipped along the top of the grass, and the process, strangely enough, became a quiet meditation time for me. I carried a few good thoughts inside me like I was carrying a comforting basket of snacks while the trusty mower and its boisterous sounds gave the grass a smooth and special trimming.

Later in the afternoon, we joined a few friends for an hour of silent meditation, and it was good, as always, to sit completely quietly in this very unquiet world for a few minutes.

Sunset – and Innovative Theater

May 6, 2019

            Last night, after dinner, we both found ourselves sitting in the sunroom as the sunlight slowly disappeared. This was a big change for us, since usually we spend most of our time after dinner in our bedroom near the television, though not always watching television. For some reason, we have grown into the bedroom habit – I suppose because several years ago we did actually watch television in the evening, but now that habit has slowly almost disappeared.  Anyway, last evening for some reason we both gravitated toward the sunroom, and before long we both realized that it is a wonderful place to spend an hour or so as the sun goes down. I suspect we will be doing this more often as the spring and summer progresses.

May 9, 2019

          Yesterday we had a long but happy day in New Haven, browsing through the Yale University Museum of Art, lunching at Atticus Bookstore and Café, and then watching another astonishingly unconventional theater performance at Yale Repertory Theater. I admired the acting very much, and the political and moral philosophy of the play was strong and timely, but I must say that I, as I usually do at Yale Rep, got a bit lost among the innovative twists and turns of the plot.  All in all, though, it was the kind of jolting, out-of-the-ordinary experience that is helpful and healthy for me.