Red and Liam have been in a bit of a test of wills lately, Liam is feeling his ram oats. He overdid it this afternoon, he looked around and found himself separated from the flock, with Red right between him and them. The sheep stared like they were at the World Series, and Liam got increasingly uncomfortable when Red turned and noticed him. He gave Liam the eye, a withering look that could melt steel and Liam stood his ground for a few seconds, then broke for the rest of the sheep. I suspect he learned something from it, I had the feeling Red had had enough.
Roger is an inspiration to me, he was the first person I saw in cardiac rehab. He actually graduated from the first phase of the program and comes to use the machines several times a week. He has a very severe case of rheumatoid arthritis, he uses two braces to walk and it is no small thing for him to lie down on the floor. Today, he slid onto the floor and over to Red before his workout, then got himself back to one of the machines and pulled himself up. He is ferocious on the machines, he pushes himself every day to work hard and do better, he has shown me how to do the same thing.
Roger works through much pain, it does not stop him, it seems to inspire him.
Red visits the people in cardiac rehab – I am warned constantly not to try and come in without him – and then settles himself on the couch, where I have told him to stay through the work session. He does stay there and he has become a touch point for the people in rehab. Whey they move from one machine to another, they come over to him, lean down if they can, and pet him and talk to him. Each of the nurses comes to check on him, talk to him, pet him, and then scrub their hands with antibiotic soap.
When people leave, they pause to say goodbye to him, they ask me questions about him, wonder at him, smile at him. He transforms the experience of cardiac rehab, it was a powerful thing to see Roger get down on the floor with him and talk to him, my refurbished heart sped up.
I am enjoying following cats and their spots, which change in accordance with the weather, mice and the sun. Flo has shifted her headquarters from the wicker chairs on the front porch to the back porch and her favorite chair. Maria returned the cushions she took in for cleaning awhile ago. Flo managed to get up once out of the sun today, to hop into the garden and snatch herself a mouse.
Maria and I went to the Clark Museum in Williamstown, Mass. yesterday with some friends, we walked up a hill to see the circle sculptures of David Smith, the famed Adirondack artist. Maria is creative everywhere she goes, and she went into the circles to take some photos and put them up on her very popular Instagram channel. I happened to have my camera and loved the image. Circles within circles. Maria is often phobic about technology, but she loves putting images up on Instagram, another way of talking about her art to people who care about it.
The farmers believe that apple trees predict the coming winter. When there are lots of apples, they say, nature is providing necessary food for the deer and other animals in the wild. When there are few apples, it will be a mild winter. Last year, we had hundreds of apples from our big and beautiful apple tree, this year there is one apple – this red apple hanging on until late Autumn. It is a beautiful thing in its own right, full of meaning. I call it the Apple of Individuality, it reminds me to be authentic and generous and to stand in my truth.