Walking along the deserted sidewalk, Persephone takes in a deep breath of open air. The trees at the end of the street promise commune with Gaia. Lilith's pace begins to surge.
"Heel." Persephone quietly signals her Giant Schnauzer.
Lilith immediately slows alongside Perce's already speedy pace panting a wide smile.
"I know. Me too." Persephone says grinning at her fast friend.
Passing sleeping buildings coming to the end of the street, the great park opens up. Its beauty stark and inviting. Lilith has her particular spots to stop indicating to her fellow canines she has been by.
The light signals.
"Walk on." Perce whispers.
Lilith is not used to being cooped up in the apartment for such long periods. Persephone follows Lilith deep into the park lazily looking up as the empty park allows her to daydream. Her curly coated friend is more than happy to play tour guide.
"Home." Signaling, it is Persephone that calls an end to the adventure.
Lilith continuing her role strides along Perce's side much slower than the walk toward the earthy realm in the center of the city.
Detaching the leash, Persephone falls on the couch and takes a sip of her now cold coffee. Pausing, she decides it is good enough for now. Lilith's loud lapping noises make Perce wish she'd left a glass of water on the table.
The walk was longer than Persephone planned. The sun is drawing to a close. Still warming, Perce removes her coat and scarf closing her eyes for a moment knowing Lilith remains where she is, patiently waiting.
With a long sigh, Persephone peels off her coat and scarf leaving them draped across the settee on the way to kitchen. She retrieves Lilith's dinner from the fridge, a hearty meat dish.
"Your favorite." Placing the bowl in the stand, she ruffles Lilith's head.
Lilith awaits the command that it is ready.
"It's yours." Persephone points to the warm bowl of sustenance.
The smell of Lilith's dish causes Perce's stomach grumble. She decides on tea and a bath instead. Remaining at home makes her tired as Perce's office resides here as well. The walks in the park, coffee, lunch, visits, events, meetings….
She misses it.
Emerging from the steaming bath, Persephone laughs at Lilith as she has already curled up in her large bed that is almost the size of Perce's polished wooden antique bed.
"So you did have enough after all. I'm glad Sweets." Persephone sparingly uses her pet name for the larger than life pooch.
Finding bed cozy, Persephone decides to remember her dreams. She wants to know just what is a possible outcome of this pressed upon isolation. Perce regularly recalls her dreams with ease. They often inspire her writing.
Covering her eyes with a soft black eye mask she says, "Tonight I know when I am dreaming. I have excellent dream recall."
Not long after, Persephone's eyes flutter as she swirls within her space of enlightenment.
From abstract Persephone hears first.
The birds are singing and flitting about the tree just outside her building as if she is just across from the park. Perce takes her coffee on the overstuffed chair next to the window in her bedroom.
Mesmerized by the saturated colors.
Clarity of sound and sight.
Nature in line with the human species.
The recently steaming cup now empty, Persephone dawns a tee and loose cotton pants. Her feet bare, she rolls mat out onto the gleaming parqueted floor. The window calls her once again. She takes in a half glass of water.
The asana flow with an amalgamation of Qi Gong and Yoga. The practice honed by listening to what resonates with her body, her mind and how she views soul. After balancing and tuning, Perce settles to meditate.
She knows herself.
Tongue to the roof of her mouth she hums encouraging parasympathetic response. Her body calm, her mind communes with soul. Finding the spaces between each breath, she breathes life into her exercise. She doesn't ask, she allows. Trust.
The practice leaves her energized. Lilith paddles over to the mat and drops her leash. Persephone rubs Lilith's back and scratches her ears.
"Fantastic timing Lilith. As always." Persephone says as she stands heading to her walk-in.
Dark sunglasses and hat shade her from the gleaming sun. Lilith's alongside, trajectory the park.
The hour-long walk tops her self-care encouraging appetite. After feeding the ravenous hound, she grabs an apple and some almonds. An isolated part of her living room, her office is light and airy facing the windows.
Perce's been writing for several hours while Lilith snoozes in a sunny spot on the soft rug. A call from the street. Buzzing in, she walks over and opens the door. She then heads to the kitchen and puts the kettle on.
Chester strides into the apartment his head replaced by the most beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers.
"Wow. Those are so beautiful and smell lovely!" Perce says examining the variety taking her time to gain the scent of each of the flowers.
Chester responds to Persephone looking around the bundle in front of him. "You can have one spectacular bouquet as center piece or a pair of two still quite large arrangements for the table."
"Indeed." Perce says letting out a squeal of excitement. "Let's place them in this for now."
Persephone retrieves a large ice bucket from the kitchen's bar. The kettle's whistle screams.
"Would you like some tea?" Perce shouts over the sound.
Placing the flowers in the bucket, Chester is nodding his head, "I would. Black tea with one of those cinnamon teabags you always have would be nice."
"White?" Persephone asks.
"Sure. If it's cream." Chester replies.
Sitting by the window, they watch the finches chasing each other about enlisting a bee in their game. The viewers chat about the dinner party tonight. Persephone doesn't adore cooking but she absolutely loves having her friends over for libation and repast. No reason necessary.
Warm hugs, and Persephone and Lilith leave Chester at the sidewalk going in opposite directions. A stop by the park for Lilith's call of nature, Perce picks up an afternoon demi-capu while continuing on to the apothecary.
The old wooden doors open just in time for her and Lilith to stroll through. The beehive tiled black and white floor draw them to the counter where Sophie is holding up a dark brown bottle.
"It's done! We've not bottled the rest as of yet, but I just knew you'd be in."
Persephone takes the bottle smelling the concoction while Sophie greets Lilith looking to Perce for permission to treat the already anticipating pup.
"Sure. She'd love one." Perce says giving permission as Lilith sits ready for her handmade savory treat.
Perce askes. "This serum smells divine. So it's the same as before?"
"Well no." Sophie responds talking over Lilith's energetic crunching.
Sophie is serious now for she knows a proper skin regimen is very important to Persephone's soft glowing skin.
"It's better!" Sophie says smiling confidently. "This will give you more moisture and you need that."
"I do!" Perce laughs smiling, "And I need bath soap as well as a half-pound of Lilith's treats."
"Which soap bar would you like this time?" Sophie asks.
Persephone responds, "Surprise me. There are so many beautiful treatments to choose from. Intuit what you think best."
"You got it!"
Package in hand, Perce turns waving in gratitude one more time before she and Lilith depart. The sun greets the duo as they head for the market, the city streets live with honking cars, buzzing scooters and bicycles. Persephone heels Lilith who is eagerly anticipating more little tasty nuggets.
The market is open air this time of year. Everything local and handmade, Persephone looks for what has just come in, ripe and ready to eat, from the fields and gardens.
Perce sences a hand on her shoulder. Another party guest greets her with a hug and gives Lilith a vigorous ear rub.
"Oleta! Lovely." Persephone says in such gratitude that in this huge city, she often runs into her friends.
"Hey!" Oleta says looking around at the stands and lively shopkeepers, "You shopping for tonight?"
"I am" Perce nods.
"Well I am glad I ran into you. I'm bringing dessert. And yes, it is your favorite." Oleta says in an overly serious tone so that Persephone will not protest.
"Pots de crème! I won't discourage you." Perce's grin is ear-to-ear, "I'm really thankful I didn't eat lunch now. I picked up some Montenegro last week. Should pair quite nicely, you think?"
"Beautiful! Synchronicity. Gotta go! See you tonight," Oleta blows a kiss before turning into the crowd.
Perce says looking over at Lilith while giving her a good scratch. "Don't you just love that when that happens?"
"Walk on." Persephone says as she focuses on the ingredients for this evening's meal.
A couple of items were not available. One not ripe enough to pick and another no longer in season. Even though she was not totally successful, Perce is satisfied with the groceries blooming from her two large canvas bags.
Lilith's head is high as she trots alongside Persephone. She is quite pleased with the trip as it is a resounding success. Perce makes note to half her dinner portion while smiling at her cheeky canine.
"You take the idea of samples to a whole new level Sweets." Persephone says laughing aloud.
With pauses to chat with friends and neighbors on the way home, Persephone lays the bags on the kitchen counter with a thud. Placing the creme in the refrigerator, she believes the rest of the groceries can wait.
The kettle on, she places a biscuit on a small plate. Lilith checks in to see if she's going to get a bit of nosh.
"I get it Lilith, but after this afternoon's smorgasbord, perhaps we wait until din-din." Persephone responds.
Understanding the cue din-din, Lilith heads to the window for a nap. Circling a couple times, her large form finds the perfect spot. She settles in with her nose under one paw.
A bit of earl grey and her nutritive biscuit on the side table, Persephone is curled up as well. With her feet underneath her and a book in her lap, she reads while crunching and sipping. Perce intermittently pauses to reflect on the words while looking out the window at the bigger than life city before her.
After a long luxurious bath, Persephone's long hair flows about her shoulders. Her dress light yet easy-stylish, floats as she makes her way to the kitchen. Lilith has relocated; but is still in snooze mode.
The neighbor, Samson, is gracious enough to come early. Italian, he's the perfect chef for the pasta and salad menu. All fresh ingredients from today's market, he is having a blast. The Prosecco Persephone opens may be a part of his levity as well as the dance he has going.
Persephone sips on her glass of bubbles while cleaning up behind the cook's magic and chopping as instructed. She sets the table and prepares the fresh bread slicing, oiling and rubbing a cracked piece of fresh garlic on each piece. Nesting them in baskets, the long table is ready for guests.
Call from below. Seems as if everyone has arrived at the same time.
Opening the door, she awaits her friends. Seeing a few with butts to trash, she realizes they were out there smoking before coming up.
The flood of energy is bright filled with levity.
After sparkling glasses empty, the gathering sits eyes wide as the large dishes make their way from the kitchen. Perce provides Lilith din-din. Her furry friend awaits as everyone finds their seat raising their glasses to Samson.
As the plates begin to pass, Persephone signals to Lilith who too begins her meal. Surprisingly there is no need for tunes tonight. The conversation free form punctuated by the popping of corks. The red wine making its own music.
With love and gratitude to Oleta and then to Perce, the crowd jackets and scarves their way to the door.
Persephone finds Samson in the kitchen. "I've got this. You are a gem."
"I know you do. I'll keep you company."
The pair completes the task in silence smiling down at the evening's accoutrements as they begin to gleam finding their homes in the drawers and cabinets.
Samson makes his way out as Perce goes to the window. Looking down to her friends below, some with their after dinner smoke streaming from their fingers, her eyes smile. They sense Persephone. Looking up, the jocular crew wave smiles.
Persephone's hand on her companion's back she asks, "Ready for bed Lilith?"
Wide awake now, Persephone writes down her dream. For this night, strong patterns emerge.
See you next week.
Cheers and best,
Telling Tales | Whispering Secrets
Ps. photography by JR Korpa on Unsplash