Today was horrible. An ice storm has laid waste the city and its’ streets. The bushes in my garden are a slumpy, frozen mess. It is so cold that the dog begins to limp in the frozen grass and must be carried to pee. I cannot get to the market or even to the gym because the city is a wasteland of deathly stillness. The few cars that venture out, swerve, slip and slam into ditches.
Oh, I long for warmth and sun–anything that takes me away from the frozen, barren sound of snapping branches and things dying. In the distance I hear an ambulance. Perhaps someone has had a heart attack? Weather like this kills the old in a heartbeat.
So I listen to my own, grateful to hear that familiar thump thump. Tomorrow I am supposed to go to the doctor—an appointment I have managed to put off for more than a year. However, the Mayor has closed the town! Now that doctor won’t be able to tell me all the things that are going wrong.
Because things only get worse the older you get. Nothing gets better. The dominoes of our spines tumble and crumble and compress. Our arteries harden, shrink or fail. Our skin sags, wrinkles or mottles. It’s an insidiously slow process you don’t see coming. It is just like the innocent, transparent raindrops that have fallen on the leaves in my garden. This one, cold freeze and they have become laden with an ice so heavy they are simply snapping from their branches in one, effortless breath.
But what’s this? My twelve, tall, bamboo-like Nandina have bent low and are about to break because they are so fully laden with bright, red, fat berries! Their crimson glow is the only color in my now, white garden. Ah, THAT is the way I want to go: quick, with a snap, but leaving a splash of rich color behind me on the frozen, white ground.