It is the first morning of Wood Thrush song, so loud and close I don’t recognize it at first. The flute-like whistles sound shrieky up close, but up close you can also hear the quiet churrs and burbles that follow the whistles. It is stunning. I sit on the porch and start to write but I can’t write while that is going on.
As I write that I can’t write, the song stops and then takes up again much farther off, as if the thrush is respecting my territory. I really didn’t mean it that way. But it works. I now have room for my own song, with its whistles and churrs and shrieks.
Yesterday I was tired and disgruntled all day. I had had angry dreams the night before and the anger of the dreams stayed with me. I went around with a dark cloud over my head. I managed to finish laundry, write a good long paragraph in my book, get some exercise late in the afternoon, and make a nice dinner, so it wasn’t an entirely wasted day. If my husband had not been at home I would have given up and watched movies or read a novel all afternoon and dined on popcorn. Not that he would have objected to this behavior. Rather, I would have been embarrassed about it. It’s remarkable how his mere presence makes me a better person.
After the exercise, the dark cloud lifted and a long night’s sleep with no memorable dreams leaves me feeling better. Oh yes. I did dream about a rotten egg and about a cage of tiny green chickens, the size of tree toads, running around and falling flat on their little faces.
What I started to write when the Wood Thrush so compellingly interrupted was that I feel so much better today that I can appreciate being fit at 70. My legs feel strong and my arms are getting stronger. I can move and function in a normal way with no impediments. And I was telling myself that I must enjoy this while I can.
I do not want to look back in a few years and castigate myself for not appreciating my good health while I had it. I have been fortunate. It is not just luck, of course. I have taken care of myself. But doing that takes emotional stamina. Yesterday was a lesson in how quickly things can go downhill. I managed yesterday, partly because Vic was there. If I had many consecutive days feeling like that I could easily stop managing.
The one thing that is essential to preventing that decline is exercise, because it helps my mood. Yesterday Vic dragged me to the Y. Sometimes I drag him and sometimes we drag each other. I always work out longer when I am with him because he does all the resistance machines.
But there are things that make exercise difficult. Being overweight saps my energy and makes it difficult to exercise. That hasn’t happened yet but it easily could because my weight is edging up again after a 20-pound loss two years ago. That is because I am eating too much. Exercise helps but isn’t enough.
Which comes first, the chicken of exercise or the egg of diet? Maybe that’s what the dream was about. Get the rot out of my diet. And go, little green chickens!