• Mathura Hawley


Updated: Aug 2, 2021

We have fallen in love during the strangest time, surrounded by nature, isolated with the animals and the trees

My arms are around Jonah as we float back into the corner of the hot tub. Two rabbits run out from under the deck and across the brick walk then under the fence into the trees on the other side. Luke looks up from where he is sniffing under the lilac tree, but they are so fast he misses it. Our yard is surrounded by the trees and the jagged wooden and wire fences that jut up from the edge of each neighbor. You can’t see a single house beyond the brush, only trees, and no one can see us. Families of squirrels have created a playground and a highway in the trees, and each morning we watch them play, flirt and fight, although we can’t always tell the difference. A storybook full of birds chirp, swoop and hop around us all day, competing for pieces of the pinecones and berries that fall from the wild bushes. From watching the feeders we put out last week, we have learned that hummingbirds fight like little bitches and bluejays are greedy assholes. That there are two rats that patrol the fence for scraps at night, cleaning up the entire area and turning our opinion of them upside down. For the last six months, this hot tub has been where Jonah and I begin and end the day. We meet here each morning with the coffee one of us has jumped out of bed in the dark to make for the other. We talk about the dreams we have just had. We make a plan for the day. We wait for Luke to come out the door and we greet him loudly and warmly, often making up a nickname for him we will call him that day. He loves the attention, shaking his ass with affection as he slinks over and sprawls out on the bed we have placed along the edge of the hot tub. If we need to talk, this is where we come. If we’ve had a long day, we open the wine and meet here. We have fallen in love during the strangest time, surrounded by nature, isolated with the animals and the trees. It’s the beautiful backdrop to our movie, the one with the two leading men and the big boxer. The other night, in his Jonah way, he asked “If we were two frogs, would you just sit with me on a lily pad?” Well, yes, puppy, it’s exactly what we’ve been doing since April 5th.

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