What we have

I don’t know about others, but I like the sound of the whistling wind. It’s been windy most of the last week. Yesterday, the wind was moderate at ground level, but in the treetops it was crazy, bending and shaking, the leaves rustling and the wind sounded like the ocean. Then, morning and night, I listen to the wind whistle outside and wonder what it is that makes it whistle. It’s one of those things that if you stop to think about for a moment seems strange in a good way. You sometimes forget how much in the world is marvellous.

I was out before walking Rigby, the breeze whipping at me. The weather is warmer, and I was in short sleeves – a t-shirt overlaid with a fleecy vest. We walked up to the main road, a bandana around my nose and mouth and a beanie tight on my head. We encountered mothers with their sons zooming by happily on scooters and other dogs, always curious and wary of each other.

It’s been a better day. Yesterday was diffuse; today focussed. It felt much more productive today and organised. In between working, I took short breaks. I snatched minutes here and there watching the playoffs. I broke up some hard rubbish and took it outside. I gave the barbecue hotplates – which I used on the weekend – a thorough scouring. And I continued the quest to clean and rid myself of unnecessary stuff – why do I need two or three of the same thing? Over the last few months, I’ve disposed of many things and consolidated others. My study has never looked so sparse.

It seems this is a common activity through these days of lockdown. I think it’s as much psychological as it is practical. We’re in isolation, and it feels virtuous to unburden ourselves of earthly possessions. By necessity, we live an austere existence these days, and while on the one hand, we seek to soften that with our online shopping and Netflix binges, we let go with the other hand what we have come to understand is unnecessary to our happiness.

For everything that’s happened, I feel lighter now. I also feel a lot of things shifting in and out, good and bad, but there’s a process of consolidation which is liberating.

In a minute it’ll be cocktail hour – probably a G&T. I’ll look towards dinner. Tonight I’ll be reheating leftovers of a French chicken casserole. I’ll have an audiobook playing through my Sonos as I get organised – at the moment I’m listening to The Martian. The rest is predictable. All of it is really, but it’s what we have.

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