Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Limits of Email

Email is my lifeline to friends and family on the other side of the pond. I am techno savvy enough to be able to include photos from time to time and perhaps next year I'll (finally) get VOIP set up and a web cam. I know I am behind times, but sometimes with approximations the better it is the worse it can be.

I had an email from a friend whose mother is ill. My friend and I are of an age where our parents are the ones who need looking after. My friend doesn't need me to help her arrange transport or find a doctor or find a place for her mom when she comes out of hospital. My friend and her mom are well looked after in that regard, but I think she needs me to be there and do nothing with her. I might pull out my knitting and she could tell me stories about her mother or I could cook a meal and when she came home from visiting her mom, she could have something warm to eat. She could pick at it or just shake her head and say No thanks, but she would have a choice.

We might walk. I can imagine the little prairie spot in a remnant woods not far from where I used to live where we have walked before. The last time we walked it was warm--late summer fading into Autumn. Some flowers were still blooming, but many had seed heads dozing in the sunshine. I can imagine we are walking there now. My friend is walking fast because she likes to walk fast when she has things on her mind. I understand it is a bit like being chased, but chased by something from the inside. I smile and wave her on. I'll catch up with her in the deepest part of the woods. I am slow because I want to hear the snow crunch beneath my feet. I want to look at the pattern of my tread in the snow, where the bright winter light makes blue shadows. I may even try to capture the snow on seed heads with my camera. I will struggle to remember the difference in light. Winter in Indiana can offer up a bright white light, so unlike the lazy summer light of here in the North.

I will walk slowly to listen to the stream that runs lightly under the little wooden bridge. It is a creek, not a burn, I will remind myself and maybe even say "crick" the way some folks in Indiana do and laugh at how my mother would disdain such pronunciations. What would she think of my living on a farm? She had been so eager to leave behind country life. I am sure she would make a romance of it. That was how she reconciled everything. I cannot help but remember my mother now but she has been gone for more than a decade.

Now it is my turn to feel chased. I shake off the reverie, tuck my camera into my pocket, and hurry to catch up with my friend among the big trees.


At 3:59 PM, Anonymous ampiggy said...

I'm touched. I'll print it out and show it to Mom. I'll send a link to my brothers and sisters. Thank you.

Is there a photo that should show up? I see a box with an X in it.


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