I’m sitting on our back porch. The grill is on. A warm breeze feels unfamiliar in this short Chicago spring. It smells like rain. Dark clouds.
I’m drinking a glass of red wine, and taking in fully the ability to be outside. Even in the face of the pending storm, this feels like a gift.
The wind warns that the weather is changing. Soft jazz plays from a neighbor’s window. I’m surrounded by trees that are dancing a subtle back and forth, as if responding to both.
The sound of a drill. A hammer. A drill again. A neighbor is taking advantage of the warm weather to complete a long-forgotten project. I wonder what, and I wonder if he’ll make it before the rain hits.
Some kids next door laugh, and it reminds me that my own son is there, in the grass, playing. And his presence in it makes me realize how green it has become. Bright green. Spring green.
As she often does, Caroline interrupts my reverie with a reminder about the pork chops on the grill.
As I walk over to tend to them, she picks some lily of the valley – one of her favorite scents. She always says smelling them reminds her of her mother, in a way that being reminded of her mother makes her feel like home. She walks over to Miles and asks him to smell the flowers. He obediently does, in an I-don’t-see-the-point-but-OK kind of way.
As if to complete the sensory experience, she asks me to smell them too. I do, but I’m reminded of her, and how detailed she can be about life, and how transparent she is about the things she loves.
Another drilling sound. Rain is starting to fall now, but just a little. Miles doesn’t notice. The jazz stops.
The pork chops almost done, my mind starts to do the thing that it does when the weekend is almost over: the inventory taking of all that I’ll need to accomplish tonight, tomorrow, the next day. It’ll be days before I’ll get another moment of green grass and red wine. My neighbor sounds like he had to leave his project incomplete.
Later, Caroline goes back outside to save the lily of the valley. The storm is coming.