Alone. — a short story from Mary Mott on her recent experience
My husband is away and I am alone.
My dog is with me. Loyal. By my side.
I’ve created a routine for myself.
I make black tea in the morning with a spoonful of milk. And sit by the river.
It is moving quickly this time of year. Aided by a little melting snow on the mountains.
I see the river as an army of grey soldiers racing past my house. Racing wildly in full retreat. From what, I am not quite sure.
There are two bald eagles that fly drone-like along its banks, looking, I suppose, for an errant mouse or surface trout. I know they are bald eagles as they have white covers on their heads. And a wingspan, that, from my vantage point, seems to just brush each side of the river.
Yesterday a coyote passed by. I thought at first it was a fox. But it was too big. And looked like a coyote I’d seen in a movie from Africa. He didn’t notice me sipping tea. He didn’t notice the house that now inhabited his landscape. Or my small, oblivious dog. He just kept wandering. He didn’t come back today. Maybe tomorrow.
I sit and watch.
If I were not alone I wouldn’t sit in this place as long as I do. Watching the sunlight move from tree to tree. Plant edge to plant edge. Not yet reaching me, protected by the overhang of the house.
I wouldn’t see the downed trees on the other side of the river. A cacophony of branches and boughs. And dog-legged trunks. I wonder if that should that be tidied up, or is that the reality of life untended.
The gravel strewn island created by last year’s floodwaters. It seems uncertain of its new place in the middle of the river and I wonder if it finds its future tentative.
I don’t think I would see all of this if my husband was home and I were two. My focus would be otherwise.
My dog leaves me now and I hear the soft flap of her tongue in her water bowl.
I am alone.
Originally published at https://marymottwrites.com on July 14, 2021.