It takes a while (55 years or more) to learn and trust that life is rhythmic, to learn not to be thrown by the big shuddering in-breath or the (occasionally dis)gusting out-breath. Not to be dismayed by the sometimes-too-long pause between these two when it’s tempting to think something has died and gone forever.
Following panic, calm. Following antipathy, a warming smile. Following (self-recrimination, acceptance. After the burning question, (possibly not an answer but) acceptance. After visitors, fruitful hours or days alone (if you’re old enough and not too old to be allowed those). After days or hours alone, welcome visitors. After bread and vegemite, an anniversary lunch.
(Following The Collapse, The Reintegration but how soon and in what form no-one knows.)
After the high, brimming tide, the emptied mudflats. And a dog waiting to run across them. Okay, we’re off.