I've already noticed that fall is on its way to the Appalachian Mountains. It was 50 degrees this morning, so you couldn't help but notice.
As always, as soon as I get up, I slip on my ugly, now getting ratty, robe and step out on the front porch and just wake up. It didn't take long this morning. It won't be long until I'll actually have to get dressed for the morning ritual. I'm sure that rabbits, deer and maybe the neighbors will appreciate not having to gander at me pacing around the porch in the dumpy robe and clashing flannel pants.
I wonder what Bruno will do? It seems that I am not the only one here in the middle of redneck nowhere that has a morning ritual. There is a hummingbird that greets me each morning. He flies around my head, hovering and bouncing about a foot from my face making that half tweet, half chirp sound.
Sometimes he'll nip his breakfast from the humming bird feeder. Sometimes he'll flit around the porch and play in the flowers my mother has everywhere. There are times when he actually lights on the table beside the bench. He sits there and just cocks his head back and forth watching me.
His coat is changing to fall. He was a beautiful green and yellow, with a bright blue ring around his neck. I've been told that the males are the bright color birds, so I assume "Bruno" is male. He's all faded to grays and browns now, but that bright ring of blue still whips around his neck.
Soon, he'll fly off to where ever it is that humming birds go for the winter. Florida? Australia? Palm Springs? I wonder if he'll find some one to commune with every morning when he gets where he's going. I wonder if the person he connects with during his wintering will have the sense of awe and comfort that Bruno has given me these last few mornings.
In college I had to do a reading from a play for a class. I chose "Zoo Story" by Albee. The character was a desperate man whose only connection in life seems to have been with a dog. Ironically, the only connection I am comfortable with at this point in my life is with a humming bird.
I discuss my plans for the day with him. I tell him how I had trouble sleeping the night before.I tell him what's on my heart. I tell him the truth, how I feel so hollow that I invariably feel nothing. All I have inside me is the echoing of pain, loss and defeat. I tell him I know I have to get past it, and that I am really, really trying.
Bruno knows that I've been putting up a good front. I see him watching me from the trees in the front yard, so I know he sees that I'm saying all the right things and functioning by rote. He sees the smiles and the conversation I share with my parents, and he sees that although still very worried, they are convinced that I'm doing fine now and will soon be back to the old me--not that they ever really knew who that was. Not that I ever knew who I really was.
And I will be fine. It's just taking longer than I expected. I've been forcing myself to get out in public, little patches at a time. Baby steps...baby steps. I still always end up back in the car, sobbing uncontrollably and trembling until my chest hurts, but soon I know that will pass. Please God, let it soon pass.
Soon, I will have suppressed it all and no one will ever know. No one will ever know that I am broken. I am crushed. They won't be able to tell that the fight is all gone, and I mourn every moment for the dreams that I'll never hold in what's left of my heart. But I WILL go on. I will find whatever little bit of hope there is left, and like little Bruno Spring will come around and my beautiful colors will return, hiding the gray and brown beneath it all.