Thursday, March 23, 2017

Oh, Dear, What Can The Matter Be

            Oh, Dear, What Can The Matter Be
            This morning at Qi Gong, a practice which requires focus, every bird in the tree, wisp of cloud, skittering lizard robbed my attention.

            Where’s my focus? I have a bad case, not fatal, of “I want it all”. Crin left this morning. We shared café con leche before she took off for the airport. Nancie left a couple days ago. As long as I’m wanting that which I cannot have, I want all my friends here with me all the time. When they are here, I want, please, just a few minutes to myself.  Sound familiar? Like a two-year old?

            “Oh, dear, what can the matter be, Johnny’s so long at the fair.” Comfort music from childhood. I could curl up with a blankie.

Instead, I wander in a daze, inside, outside, in my lady’s chamber. So to speak. I clip a geranium and plunge the stalk into a pot that has a spare space. (In a few days the thing will be rooted and bloom.) Then I go inside and dig around in my bread recipes, choose potato bread, leave the book open on the counter. Next I wander around back of my house to my rose bed, cut three buds for a vase on my table. Back inside, I wander from room to room before I set up my ironing board. Back outside, a dead yellowed leaf off my giant-leafed philodendron distracted me. I pluck it off and throw it in my garden trash can.

            So I’ll allow myself a time of mal-content, restlessness, sadness. The good news is that I love my friends enough to feel sad and abandoned when they are go north. I usually get my focus back before the day runs its course. Discontent gets boring quickly.

            Ah, rescued by Lani. “I’m going into Ahualulco. Need anything? Want to come along?”

            “Don’t need a thing, but let me ride along.”

            In the Mercado I buy four tomatoes for four pesos. I know what you are paying for tomatoes so you probably don’t even want to know the exchange rate. And, my tomatoes have garden flavor.

            Further along I spy a stand with mangoes—twelve pesos a kilo. First fresh mangoes of the season, probably from further south, probably Oaxaca. Ours are still a couple weeks coming.

            Sure, I don’t need anything, but a kilo of strawberries for twenty pesos, yes.

            Gracious me, is this food therapy? Perhaps.

            The childhood song continues to haunt me. “He promised to buy me a trinket to please me, and then for a smile, he vowed he would tease me. He promised to buy me a bunch of blue ribbons, to tie up my bonnie brown hair.”

            Back home, I slice my strawberries for later, put my mangoes in a pretty dish and eat a tomato sandwich.

Trinkets, indeed. Well, why not? I mix my bread dough and set it to rise. It’s foolish of me to make bread. I can buy great bread cheaply. I bake it because I love the process and the product.

While humming, I smile at the thought of blue ribbons to tie up my bonnie brown hair. It used to be brown. And long enough to tie.

            Early evening is my favorite time to sit on my patio, watch the iguanas and lizards vie for territory on my brick wall, watch hummingbirds flit from star jasmine to geraniums to orchid cactus to plumbago, mining every sip of honey. l grab my book to read while the loaves are in the oven. Maybe I’ll iron manana.  

            “He promised to buy me a basket of posies, a garland of lilies, a gift of red roses.” Silly me. I have all that right in my back yard. 

Sondra Ashton
HDN: Looking out my back door

March 23, 2017

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