Sunday afternoon my wife put the keyboard Clay is using to communicate with us in front of him.
“What do you want to do today?”
Clay typed that he wanted to go to the nearby nature center. A favorite place to visit. Now that he is communicating his wishes after five years of silence, we make a point of acting on them when we can. Off the three of us went, packing a camera and his keyboard in a backpack.
As usual, Clay shot out of the car when I opened the door like a bald man chasing his hat on a windy day. He raced ahead to a bench near a turtle pond.
“Any thoughts?” my wife asked when we joined him on the bench he found.
“So happy we came here.”
“What do you like the most?”
“So many birds.”
We walked along the trail for awhile. Hiking with Clay is often a matter of trying to keep up, while you stave off visions of him slamming into a startled moose or stumbling into a cave that leads to the center of the earth.
He tore along the trail ahead of us until he reached this spot, a quiet clearing along the reservoir that borders the nature center.
When we asked if he had any thoughts about this spot, he typed, “So sleepy.”
“So sleepy,” he typed two more times as we moved along the trails. He did yawn a few times, but was moving at a pace that would have exhausted a cheetah. We rested for awhile near the turtle pond again.
Then settled on a bench near the reservoir.
We sat for a bit listening to the birds chirp and squawk, watching the butterflies flit by. We saw a deer come down to lap some water on the opposite shore. The warm breeze rippled the surface of the pond.
“Any more thoughts?” we asked.
“So lovely,” he typed.
Couldn’t agree more.