I can’t meditate, Samuel’s snow-blowing, which is loud. The back meadow beckons with its winter wonderland, snow iced trees, a tiny eye of sun peeping through grey clouds, a twitter of birds near the seed and in the distance… Pulling on snow clothes, boots, a scarf, and coat, I scape off the landing with the shovel near-by before going down the steps. Then a figure appears without a sound and I scream at the same time I realize its Samuel. Too late, my body has already gone into fight or flight, and he laughs.
Usually I laugh too, embarrassed that I jolt, scream and get so seemingly overly upset. But this time I lit into him, “Why do you fucking do that? You’ve lived with me all these years and you come up on me quiet?”
“I thought you heard me,” he says before I’ve finished my rant.
“How could I hear you, I was shoveling?” and I realize my protests are useless because his words are empty excuses.
I tear off into down the steps, “It’s not fucking funny. It’s abusive,” and I hope the neighbors on both sides aren’t home because they could hear every word if they were.
“You won’t even read my book because it might be hard to hear! What is that? I had to live it, and you can’t hear it? Read it and maybe you will learn something,” my words trail off as the exertion takes my breath, and it’s exhausting explaining anything to someone who won’t hear.
The deep snow takes work getting through it but down by the creek I sit awhile, catch my breath, and try to calm down. Once again, bickering. I do four more laps, resting each time by the frozen water. For the first time, a realization, these innocuous scares from Samuel, or whoever, don’t just upset my entire nervous system for the moment, it activates a process that keeps me on high alert the rest of the day. It isn’t funny. And it isn’t fun. Even here in my safe home, I sometimes don’t feel safe.