As I work at home during the pandemic I’ve become attuned to the rhythm of the neighborhood.

The color scheme from my second floor window is decidedly green, even during a drought. Across the street trees from my 92-year-old neighbor’s yard and a sliver of conservation land provide shade along the lane. In my yard, inside a low stone wall, there are more trees, shrubs and a late August splash of pink Rose of Sharon.

I notice the walkers as soon as I settle into my desk at 7 a.m. First comes Robert from around the corner, ear buds in place. Then my friends Cheryl and Tim stroll by on their long walk that often ends on a shady bench by Sunset Lake.

Around eight, when they are on-Island, my college friend Chris and his wife Amy wander by. At about the same time Ann and Duncan walk their two golden retrievers, Bonnie and Clyde, led by their yellow tabby, Macavity. By 10 a.m. Adam takes a break from his desk to walk his frisky little mutt.

The noise begins soon after. I had no idea power tools were so prevalent in the neighborhood, all the livelong day. Lawn mowers, leaf blowers, hedge trimmers, sanders and saws blot out the rare sway of a breeze and wreak havoc with my concentration. If I look like I’m logged onto Zoom from a sauna, sweaty and red-faced, it’s because the window is closed to block out the grinding machinery.

Still, alone in my room I seem to get more work done than I did at the office. For a while my cat Coby napped on the couch behind my desk, like a (very unproductive) office mate. The two cats have finally resigned themselves to the fact that the house is no longer their kingdom Monday through Friday, although they do start whining for dinner at around 2 p.m.

I miss my coworkers and the office air conditioning yet I find comfort in my work-at-home routine. I try to imagine what Robert is listening to each morning. I wonder if Cheryl and Tim are dating. I shudder at how quickly Chris and Amy’s sons have grown up. I chuckle when skinny Macavity leads his humans and dog-siblings down the road.

My little green corner of the Island is predictable in an unpredictable world and that brings me a measure of peace.

Elizabeth Durkee lives in Oak Bluffs.