Every day when I hike on that ridge trail in the woods, the same one usually, things change. More trilliums have bloomed, the gorgeous three leafed flowers that love the shade of the woods. They look like white butterflies as you hike up the trail, and they turn pink as they get older. I’ve never seen anything quite like it before. I can hear the tall Douglas firs and Sitka spruces swishing back and forth as if they’re communicating with one another. Sometimes I wonder if maybe the trees do communicate in some ways. Sometimes when I stand perfectly still, I can hear some of the trees creaking as well. I never get tired of those trees or the woods and crave to return pretty much every day.
Yesterday was especially adventurous. As I hiked towards one of the bridges, I saw a couple of people looking up at something. One had a camera. So, of course I had to stop and look as well and find out what was happening. At first, I just noticed the loud, squawking blue jays — the ones that look like they have black hairdos on top of their heads. But then I saw the owl sitting on a branch. At first, I hardly noticed him because he blended in with the tree branches, but there he sat while the blue jays continued to jabber at him, like to go away. They would fly really close, and sometimes the owl would flutter its wings just a little, but he stood his ground. The blue jays, two of them, continued to harass the owl. This went on for like 20 minutes, and I found it hilarious. I watched the entire time until the owl finally decided to fly into the woods. What a beautiful, majestic creature. I could still hear the blue jays bitching and jabbering, but they flew away as well. I think at one point we actually saw the owl turn its head completely around. I was amazed by the experience, something I don’t see often. I had heard owls hooting in the woods later in the day before while walking, but I hadn’t actually seen one. They blend in pretty well with the trees. The blue jays are so loud and annoying that you can’t miss them. They are fun to watch and listen to. I’ve seen them argue with squirrels for peanuts before. I guess the birds have different personalities just as we do.
When I walk, I don’t feel the stress of the past month of losing someone close to me, or the fact that my boyfriend was very sick with prostate issues, and just a week ago, I had to insert a catheter in for him for the first time in my life. It was a horrifying and scary experience, and also very painful for him. He already had worn one for a week before while the doctors tried to figure out what was wrong with him. I thought for sure I’d have to call emergency as I had to do it twice before it worked, almost passing out from shock, but managing to keep it together because it’s what you do when you must. I learned that from being a mom. You do what you gotta do for your loved ones even if it’s hard or almost impossible. For a couple of days after that, it was touch and go. Savoy was very weak and could barely get any sleep or get out of bed, unusual for him. He is 67 years old, but he’s active though he admits he’s slowed down some. My friend Erik who just passed away was only 65 and I’m about to turn 64, so I’ve been forced to think about life in different ways as our bodies fall apart when we get older, even though our minds are alert and young. One morning, Savoy cried and said, “I’m scared.” I hugged him tightly and held him for a long time. I’ve never seen him like that before the entire time we’ve been together. He’s been so vulnerable. I don’t blame him for being scared. Not being able to urinate can kill you…
The doctor or nurse began calling him every day offering to put in a more permanent catheter again if he needed it, but Savoy said let’s wait and see. Miraculously, he is finally getting better and returning to normal. Yesterday, I received one of my friend Erik’s beloved flutes in the mail… I’m honored to have it and keep it forever as he was a wonderful flute player who even played professionally with bands over the years.
Last night, Savoy played Erik’s flute and I played ukulele and sang, “Under the Boardwalk” and “Things We Said Today.” It sounded magical and beautiful.