Two roads diverged in a green wood, on a trail above my parents house. Why? Because they are installing a water main and have ripped up the main trail, so the new one is marked with construction orange pieces of plastic to guide the walker.
I followed this trail, all apologies to Robert Frost, to where it disappeared into the undergrowth, then looped down onto the gold course cart path for a few paces, and made it the landmark all of us children walk to when we visit Mom and Dad: the stream. The spring run-off has amplified this creek into a noisy, babbling stream which I could have heard from some distance away except that Sheryl Crow was singing All I Want to Do Is Have Some Fun in my earbuds.
My parents are on a different schedule than I: up whenever, nice breakfast, my mother will make/answer phone calls (yesterday there were many since it was her birthday) while my Dad goes down to his art studio to paint, then a walk mid-morning along the Ogden River. Big, late lunch, then working on various tasks, reading--perhaps a nap--until evening, when the blinds are raised because the sun has gone down and we have a snack. I think when I'm not here, they watch a movie, then maybe the news, then bed. Pretty dang active folks for 81 and 83.
But my rhythm is off, as rhythms always are when visiting or being visited. People, relatives, friends interrupt our optimum routine and while there are times we can reclaim it for a while (like this morning's walk) basically it's time to let others disrupt, interrupt and intrude our boring, static schedules.
Mom always said a change is as good as a rest, and maybe she was on to something. After the visit/visiting, there's a deliciousness in reclaiming the routine, a safety and sameness that click-clocks along our day. We know what to do, what time to do it, and the structure strengthens our doing, helps us cross of our To Do List tasks.
Thank heavens for disruptions, or we'd miss a singing stream high up on Ogden's mountain, a forested way marked with fluttering pieces of plastic, Sheryl reminding me that all I want to do is not have just fun until the sun goes down, but instead, work with my father on his memoir, celebrate a Happy Eighty-first, see my mother's blue eyes, jump in line with my father's energy, see the newest painting, laugh over lunch with some aunties, in other words to matter to someone, to connect, to love.