And so it comes to be that it all is down to me… nobody else to hold accountable for washing the dishes, mowing the yard, fixing the leaky faucet or to appreciate those new irises popping up behind the fuchsia bush. The good and the bad, there is nobody to blame, to take the heat, to discuss the age-old question of what’s for dinner with but that face in the mirror. Gads, such responsibility!
Accepting an offer to retreat to the mountains of Santa Cruz, I have time to contemplate all this. Seriously, with nobody to answer to or keep waiting, I can do so anytime, anywhere but this is planned contemplation. Whatever that means. Better make it count. However you quantify that.
I took the dogs I am pet-sitting on their morning constitution to the accompaniment of an orchestra of castanets, produced by the residual overnight rain, lazily making its way down through the Redwood, Pine and Oak forest canopy who has apparently hoarded this delectable juice like forbidden Halloween candy, grudgingly letting loose of it despite the fear of a drought of sweets.I give thanks for the share.
Brilliant clusters of Toyon berries pierce the low blanket of fog and rich earthy hues growing solidly around us. The one hound is tethered by a recent surgery and a leash. The other, a lithe, black shadow to begin with, crosses repeatedly into the netherworld over the side of the steep road, gleefully teasing us with her ambition. Wet enough, we head back. A round of biscuits, barkeep!
Not being the first time holding vigil at my friends’ home, I dedicate this place to “working on my book.” Well, I do have the best of intentions. I diligently pack boxes of references materials (“Let me help you bring in your things before we go, Dianne!” “Oh, no, that’s okay…don’t want you to think I’m moving in or anything…”). After the beasts and I are all fed, I set up my laptop, neatly arrange notebooks and scraps of “meaningful papers,” apply my best OCD skills to the hard and softbound tomes and sit down, ready to dig in. Gee, maybe I’d better go into town to get provisions before the road gets too slippery.
Sigh. What if my friends stop vacationing and I lose this opportunity!?
I tell massage/hypnosis clients, “You can only take one breath at a time. And so it is with all of life- break it down into manageable bits. Have a goal, but keep it in your peripheral vision, focus on just the next step ahead or it becomes too easy to trip up.
So, here I am, pecking away at my laptop, the wood stove is cranked up, my cup of tea is at my elbow and the words seem to be flowing. That seems to be to be the best place to start.