Every day at noon, I usually take a break from my desk by walking out to the parking lot and sitting in my car, where I check my text messages and scroll through Facebook and browse the internet. Just physically leaving the prison and connecting with the outside world through my phone helps me decompress from a morning filled with absorbing the very intense problems of the incarcerated men who make up my caseload.
Today I walked out to my car to discover that a notice had been slipped under my windshield wiper, undoubtedly placed there by a correctional officer patrolling the parking lot. The folded piece of paper turned out to be a copy of a memo from the warden, reminding employees to lock their doors, not leave valuables in their cars, and to roll up their windows all the way. This last part was highlighted in yellow for my attention, because this morning before I went in to work, I’d rolled down my windows an inch to let cool air circulate through the car during the day.
Anyway, I felt a little annoyed by this, even though I understood it all had to do with maintaining the safety and security of the institution. I got into my car and checked my cell phone. Sean had sent a couple of photos to show me something he noticed in the front yard this morning.
My pumpkin plants were blooming.
Even though they were only photos, it felt good to be receiving flowers.