lizard love

This is my second week home in Tucson after a full year mostly away.

The yard is full of flowers, full of life and lizards. The whiptails are friendly, as always, and can be hand-fed. But the best news is that one of Orangelina’s handsome sons, Euell, is in command of the Lurk. He consents to be fed dried worms while he suns himself on the edge of the brick, just as she did, and he is intensely curious about my doings, craning his neck to see what I’m watering, to watch me swim, see who I’m talking to. Most lizards just go about their business, so it’s nice to have another curious one.

This was pretty little Orangelina in her last summer, 2015. Euell will have golden eye patches instead of orange, and his belly is a bright green and blue. He’s still shy of the camera. Orangelina loved to pose.

The birds are having a ball in the gentle spring weather. A young towhee flew into the house earlier, and had to be hand-carried out, shivering from fear. Perhaps it will remember me, that I was gentle. I hope so.

As I work on the books I watch the Gila woodpeckers, finches and hummingbirds careen between the aloe flowers, the honeysuckle, and the jasmine. The flowers of the Carolina jessamine have turned from yellow to white, and the blossoms from the palo verde and citrus trees are almost all on the ground, making an ethereal carpet. Maybe this year the orange and grapefruit trees will keep their fruit. They’re old trees, and take hardships to heart. We haven’t had a really good run of grapefruit or tangerines since the deep freeze of 2011.

There are cardinals, seemingly endless supplies of finches, goldfinches, mockingbirds, doves, towhees, brown thrashers and hummers. I see palo verde beetle holes, but so far none of the ladies have turned up at the pool. Perhaps the young Cooper’s hawks will appear, I always forget when they fledge, but they do it from a tree just down the street.

Beautiful colours in the garden

The house is seeing more activity than just me working in a corner –  my friend Eric was here for weeks, taking out the decade-old violet carpet. He’s refinishing the floors, taking them back to their original deep red, softly polished concrete. He plays chess too, and amazingly we each played first board for same high school, although almost a decade apart. We had the same chess coach, the same fierce geometry and English teachers. What are the odds?

Check out the old floors, I love polished concrete, it’s so cool in summer.

Screen Shot 2017-05-03 at 2.45.15 PM.png

The stripping-down process here started as an exercise in getting the house ready to sell, but it turned into something deeper as the months went by; layer after layer went out, and I gave away most of my furniture and more than half of my Things. The more open things become, the better I feel. I still don’t know if I’ll need to sell it, but for now, I’m treating as if I plan to keep it forever, which feels nice.

It’s difficult to answer questions about my future, even when it’s next week, or even when it’s me asking.


Also, I feel I should say, I’ve fallen in love again. It’s a dicey thing, the discussing of a new love after the end of a long and cherished marriage, but this love is so elemental for me that it as time winds on, it’s more of a sin of omission to leave it out than one of bad taste to declare it.

It’s been a year now. Love found me almost as soon as my heart was free. Out of respect, it didn’t seem kind to talk about it earlier, but I have wanted to say that I feel as fierce and as strong as I did when I was ten years old, loved and safe, I run like the wind. I feel unquenchable, unstoppable, and my dreams have wing. We work and play games all of the time; science, architecture, tennis, backgammon, chess, Scrabble, we laugh, we keep moving, working, talking, dreaming. There are notebooks and notebooks full of ideas, he has teams he’s built that are as wide and as deep as my own, brilliant people, carefully curated, loved, encouraged.

Like I can see the difference in one lizard in a sea of lizards, he can see me, shining out, curious, noticing, something radically different in a sea of people going about their business, and I can see him.

I thought I’d be living in Boston by now, but there is still so much to do. So much to do. So, I’m just doing one thing after the next thing, and keeping an open mind and heart, and soon my work will be done and then I’ll be moving forward.

For now, head down, working, giving things away, trying to get as small as I’ve ever been.

10 thoughts on “lizard love

  1. I love that you sound so happy, content, and fulfilled. I do hope you can stay in your house. It has such good energy. Sending love.

  2. Such a good post to read tonight! I hope love and lizards follow you wherever your journey takes you.

  3. So,so glad that you have found a soulmate, Kate! I had forgotten how beautiful your garden is, even without Orangelina! She was special!Life sounds so good now, hold on to this time with both hands!

  4. It’s so good to hear that you’re living life to the full, as always. I love reading your musings on life. Live, love & laugh dear Kate

  5. I am so glad you posted again. I have really missed your voice. Like an old friend gone missing! And I have missed the lizards as well. I hope that when I finally get to move to my house in Tucson that we will get to meet. I should have been there a few years ago but life got in the way as it sometimes does. June 2018……leaving Boston for good. I can’t wait.
    PS love those floors! I am going to try that on my porch in Tucson! A previous owner put down indoor/outdoor carpet…..ugly. I never thought about just polishing the concrete!
    Glad you are finding your way again to happiness and contentment.

  6. I love reading your blogs. The words are like songs, the way they flow, telling stories that are both like stories of old and painfully present in the modern age. The way you seem to live as a constantly evolving work of art (or literature) is such an inspiration!

  7. So happy for you. You sound relaxed …. at peace with yourself and life. I needed your blog, l needed to “see” the lizards, the birds, and to feel the warm Arizona sun for a few minutes. I have just received word of an old friend, a classmate, another lifetime ago (a teenage crush), of heart breaking news, bringing my spirits low. First I was able to loosen the tears, then I was able to breathe. 44 years and still a touch of the old teenager is still here. Ours was not chess, but debate good old I say “yes” he said “no”!

Comments are closed.