Notes from a walk with the dog
Today my body claims her bones. I am tired and sturdy. Bones and I share purpose. The pavement doesn’t defy me. Nor the dog. High in the upper reaches of a willow, a dove coos a greeting, not to me but to spring so newly arrived. Do you see her there, next to the clouds?
Think of all the other kinds of tired! There’s fragile tired as after a haunted night without sleep and wired tired, often associated with a deadline too long deferred.
There’s marathon tired, the through and through physical exhaustion that feels laudatory and comes with a permission slip reading: REST.
There’s dutiful tired, arising when the body ought to be firing on all cylinders but isn’t because drudgery and resentment make their nasty claims.
Mourning is its own kind of tired, one that comes in waves with rhythms all its own.
There’s 4:00 tired, requiring no cause whatsoever and almost always attended by an overwhelming need to nap.
There’s the hand-wringing tired of anxious grievance. Formerly rare, now nearly constant, this kind of tired jangles with us through our days as we watch the news, listen to the unhinged tirades, or merely read about them because we can’t abide the sound of his voice. As we scroll through twitter and go to our trusted online news sources, this tired has us reading current indictments in full and praying for more.
There’s the tired of despair. This type of weariness is dangerous, bearing as it sometimes does an irresistible and irrevocable mandate. Nobody who wants to live should heed that mandate.
There’s the tired of age that comes when you bend to wipe the floor as you’ve done with ease forever and upon rising, your hand grips the counter. Maybe there’s a tiny groan.
Sturdy tired is nearly indistinguishable from sturdy energy. It offers a determined walk, a pain-free pivot, a place on a warm bench where you just know hope visits.
Hope visits. Spring bears glad tidings in its bird song, bulb blades, warmed pavement, wispy clouds — and it does so every god-damned year. How is such constancy possible in a world full of damning variables?
Without thinking too hard about variables shaping clouds and rain, I’ll take this magenta scarf, formerly my sister’s, and walk back out into a morning brushed with promise.