I see a "caution" cone at Towl Park as I arrive today. I look around, but don't see anything to take caution about.
I think that maybe I will just take this as a warning in general.
Maybe a warning that soon the quiet days of this park will be gone? Soon, it will be warm enough to lure all the non-winter people back to the park and the pond. The grass is greening up substantially. The park's crocuses and daffodils are already up and at 'em. Soon, it will not even be sweater weather anymore, but "no sweater needed" weather. Soon, it won't just be me and the other hardy souls who brave all but the coldest weather. Soon, very soon, the park will be filled with the carefree voices of those who are tired of being cooped up in their houses with only quick, shivery runs to their cars, to work and the grocery store.
The park will like it better. I'm not sure that I will. I've grown to love, to need, my solitary writing sessions with just the gurgling pond water for company.
I'm a born hermit, you see. I cherish my solitude almost more that anything else. I like having myself to myself. I've never liked group events. Large groups (and if I am totally honest, even smaller groups) make me cranky. I can think of few things that I like less than having to make small talk with strangers or people whom I barely know. So, of course, I ended up married to a person who is so gregarious that she can easily come out of a routine grocery stop with a new friend in tow.
"This is Patrick," she will tell me. "He has the most interesting ideas about climate control." This is often after one short meeting in the baking aisle.
The only group where my spouse draws the line are the ones whom she deems boring, or as she says, "small brained." She enjoys people who bring good ideas to the table, good conversation.
I've always loved my books far more than people. Perhaps, I'd be more interested in talking to people if these people were the little prince, Atticus Finch, Sir John Falstaff, Dean Moriarity, Beany Malone, Huckleberry Finn, Hermione Granger, Mark Renton, Holly Golightly, Mr. Fox, Sherlock Holmes, Jon Snow, Snowball, Holden Caulfield, the Artful Dodger and Clay Easton. Now, THAT is a fun dinner conversation.
I'm very comfortable in my solitude as well. As the lone liberal democrat in a family of zealously devoted Trumpers, I'm very accustomed to keeping my mouth shut. I have stretched my voice to social media this year, though. After January 20, I realized that I had two choices. I could keep my opinions to myself and watch my country become a repeat of the Enabling Act of 1933 in Germany. Or, I could hone my researching skills to a sharp point and use them to make my voice an asset to assure that Lucy and all kids would never again have a president of their country who could not spell, logically reason, or lead with intelligence and empathy.
I chose door number two and I have never looked back. I worried at first that my family would disown me all over again but a good friend of mine told me this: "I think that you'll find that they read your words once or twice and then stop. You're saying things that they do not want to hear. MUCH easier to simply ignore you. Those who do read your stuff, though? They may be the ones who are open minded enough that it would behoove you to listen to their views, too."
Wise words. Correct words. Although, I do so dislike the use of the word "behoove." So, I will miss the quietness of this park, the peace of this pond. But, all life is circular. The calamity of those hot summer days will fade into the Monet of autumn soon enough.
I hope to still be here, pen in hand.