I spent several years living in the country and learned that I am not a country girl. Though I did like the low mountains of the Arkansas Ozarks, dwelling in an area where neighbors rarely visit and winter roads might not be cleared for weeks daunted me. I’d rather live where I can see through my grimy window to the neighbors’ trellis, watching the trailing vines bud and bloom.
This morning follows a weekend in which I counted both my blessings and my failures. My shortcomings slam into my face when I venture mere steps beyond immediacy. By contrast, my virtues seem few, and the accomplishment of others loom large. Perhaps I’m just indulging in self-pity; perhaps, as Pat Reynolds noted, I complain about myself far too much. But at the end of my sixth decade, I cannot help feeling that I should be further towards enlightenment than I am.
From a wooden stool in my breakfast nook, I can in fact see a rose trellis, the same one that I have watched for the 22 years in which I’ve lived here. When I first bought this house, the breakfast nook had a custom-made table and four ladder-backed chairs. That set has long since been sold at a yard sale. Here, now, I have an antique desk with a broken leg but lovely lines and a Formica-topped table which typically lives downstairs in my laundry room. Two wooden stools complete the nook’s furniture. Each morning, I sit here to read the paper, eat my breakfast, and touch base with the virtual world.
Outside the window, the world evolves as the pages of the calendar turn. Today spring shows itself in tender buds sprouting on the rambling vine. As I sit, I contemplate washing the window but mostly, I remember other years when that vine has hung heavy with fragrant blooms. The couple which lives in the house take good care of their yard. They are the fourth to live in that house since I bought mine. I like them, and I am happy that they have not torn down the roses. The wild, radiant display on the trellis each year somehow signals the coming of better days.