2021 Grateful 31: Unplugged

Before I went out for my morning round of the village, I tried to download a book to take with me. I logged onto various audiobook sites looking for a classic I hadn’t already read – like Don Quixote or Moby Dick. It took forever, in morning time. I specify, because forever takes on a whole new scale in the afternoon. When I finally did get the file downloaded, I didn’t have the app I needed to play them. So I downloaded that. But then the files were in the wrong place and I couldn’t figure out how to move them. It was here that I finally decided to listen to what the morning was telling me – just go walk.

I wondered at my need to be doing something while doing something. I wondered at my reluctance to waste time. I wondered at my heightened sense of mortality, of time running out. And while I wondered, I walked.

A couple of times, I had to stop to double-check to make sure I wasn’t being followed by a swarm of bees, the buzzing was that loud. No music or book could have competed. The more overgrown the verge, the louder the noise. No Mow May wasn’t official here in Hungary but those who didn’t mow really have done wonders for the local bees.



A couple of times, when I looked up, I saw roses making their way over the path, unfettered by trellises, tied to nothing, free to go where they wanted. I thought about editing out the telephone lines but then it wouldn’t be real, would it? Because so much of what we see and hear today isn’t real, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Even for the sake of a better picture.

I passed my favourite house in the village and the noise was so loud there had to be a whole hive-worth of bees on the loose. The place has been vacant for as long as we’ve been here and the bees are loving it. There’s a lot to be said for letting your lawns go wild.

Even the weeds are flowering. And the poppies … oh the poppies. There are so many more this year than in previous years. Perhaps because the fields are not being planted? Maybe there’s more demand for hay? It’s particularly curious given the lack of poppies in California’s Antelope Valley. Usually a major tourist attraction, 2021 seems to have been poppy-free.

It wasn’t just the bees making noise though – the swallows were still partying, flying in and out like mad things, chattering loudly. Almost frantic.  I was amazed at how many can fit in a nest.

Had I been engrossed in my book, I’d never have heard the bees and the birds. I may not have noticed the roses. And maybe I wouldn’t have felt so alive. There’s a lot to be said for doing nothing when doing something and being grateful for the experience.








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One Response

  1. Amen to all that. Plus, Moby Dick… is it really a classic, or a convoluted mess? (Discuss) – Walking without distraction is a far far better thing to do!

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