Music For All Seasons

I sit here on this warm sunny day on our balcony, and it is just not the same. Mr. Hummingbird flits about the old eucalyptus, hoping to find some foolish crow to harrass. Nothing is happening. There’s a faint hint of mare’s tails up in the north bay. Their beauty excites only mild interest. The Harley-Davidsons roar by on the boulevard below. This is definitely a biker town. Ttheir illegally loud modified pipes just do not properly annoy.

A CD mix of my old classical favorites plays quietly inside, in the living room. We have never been ones to crank the volume up. Played as background music, I can hear every note just fine, thank you. Rondeau (Mouret) – if you go back that far, you would know it as the theme from Masterpiece Theater. Fair mood or otherwise, the Brandenberg Concertos never fail to please, and they can be played an infinite number of distinctive ways. There’s plenty of Vivaldi on these CD’s. Sorry, no Beethoven’s 9th or Also Sprach Zarathustra – these days I tire more quickly of fanfare, bluster and heroics.

I am pleased that I am capable of being pleased, but every waking moment holds a malaise. Bob is still in the hospital. I am alone here. Oh, sure, we are managing our managed health care quite proactively. I suspiciously ask: am I listing to my old favorites to fill a void, or because they are my old favorites? Both, I suppose. This silly kind of circular introspection has to go. I like my music in all seasons.

It seems just a week ago that we both thought we could see the first signs of autumn color. Today, it could be late spring. A cool 66 degrees in the shade still means shorts weather when you are determined to hang on to summer as long as possible.

I should not be hanging on, as it were, but planning ahead. I see wheelchairs and walkers in our future. There is a strength issue as a side effect of the Chemo and the cancer we’re fighting. Football players may walk out of artificial hip operations the same day, but not our Bob. I don’t have any personal discomfort issues at all with frail bodies and low energy levels. Our goal is to build him back up and see the Chemo through to what we hope and expect to be a joyous conclusion. We’re fortunate and grateful to have a wonderful oncologist who follows everything and leads the way ahead. All this is something we go through, so to speak, so that we can sit together on the back porch in Phoenix, in retirement, and listen to the songbirds. I like to putter with the pool. Next year we both plan for Bob to have the strength to get in it.

The high north bay cirrhus has advanced so that it’s nearly over the balcony. So to speak, we hang in a delicate balance between summer and winter. When it gets cold, and Chemo patients get terribly cold, I see lots of firewood for the old fireplace in the coming months. Too bad we can’t reposition global warming right where we need it.

My ears perk to the noble Bach piece Allein Gott BWV664. It only amazes how some music endures hundreds of years, while most contemporary music fades and falls back into the soil after a brief run of a few months. Enjoy the wildflowers, but keep your focus on the horizon. My resolve is refreshed in expecting we can and will do both.

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