Thursday, July 28, 2011

Where Am I?

Emerald Bay

(Written Wednesday, July 27))

I'm sitting at the kitchen table of my cousin's cabin in South Lake Tahoe. I'm alone. Like, very alone. My nearest husband and children are 600 miles away. And I feel fine about that.

OK, that's a lie. The first two days of my vacation I felt like crap about that. Not like guilt crap but like actual "I miss you" crap. Which is so unlike me. Maybe all this meditation mumbo jumbo is backfiring and my raisin heart is graduating to prune status. I don't think I'm ready for that.

But I digress. I'm sitting at the kitchen table on the last of my four days here. I stink from beach, suntan oil and sweat. I'm procrastinating filling the bathtub mostly because I'm so tired. And I'm reflective. So I write.

In the cold of Utah winter I started hatching plans for this vacation. My cousin David and his wife Amy had bought a cabin here and generously offered it as a place to get away. At first I modestly declined but as the winter grew longer and longer (and longer and longer), a warm place to go seemed like a good idea. Originally it was going to be a family vacation but I had a sudden change of heart a few weeks ago and decided to come by myself. We all went to Legoland together in April and had a good time, Brooks had suggested I might need a vacation (that may be his way of saying he needs a vacation, if you know what I mean) so plans were revised and here I am.

I haven't had so much solitude since, well, I actually can't remember when the last time I spent four days by myself. In fact, have I ever done this? No. Therefore, I had a long list of things I wanted to do with my alone time. I anticipated going out into the woods all day long and being deeply spiritual. You know, profound meditation with short snack breaks. Well, on Monday I sat around all day in my pajamas, cried while watching Legends of the Fall, and alternately ate from five different flavors of ice cream in between dread-grooming sessions. That's spiritual. Kind of. Keep reading if you are curious as to what kind of discovery and enlightenment the getaway did, in fact, bestow.

• Silence is rejuvenating. I don't think I need to say much more than that.

• In a true mosquito crisis, I will quickly abandon my homemade essential oil formula for good old-fashioned DDT.

• I pack around too much stuff in life, literally and figuratively speaking. What am I saving up for? I don't need that much to be happy.

• Brooks is my best friend. I take his companionship for granted. I take a lot of things for granted.

• Contrary to what I have often believed over the years, a life of care-free bliss would not make me happy. It would be oppressive, if it existed at all.

• I need to drive at least 500 miles to truly get away. This is essential, psychologically-speaking. I do not need to drive that far, however, to enjoy many of the things I have been doing out here. There are so many mountain lakes and trails (both hiking and mountain biking) in my own backyard that I've never explored. What am I waiting for?

• I do not need to go to the gym in order to get exercise.

• Speaking in terms of garbage, I create a lot of waste. I'm pretty sure I can 1) back on consumption in general and 2) minimize what I personally put into the landfill by more carefully selecting what kind of products I buy. I notice that this is something I'd like to change because I desire it, not because I think I should.

• I am easily distracted in my everyday life with things that are ultimately of little consequence.

• I want to try extending the garden season using hoop houses and row covers. Don't ask me how that factored in.

• The night sky here is so black that the stars shine all the brighter. Lying on my back looking up, I see God there.

• Nature is enduring. It kind of feels like when all is said and done, She's probably going to have the last word.

• I need to get out more.


Colleen - the AmAzINg Mrs. B said...

Love this. Love that you got away. Love that you're home safely.


jai said...

Now that's a vacation.

Sarie said...

I love this post and your meditation post. This really intrigues me. I've never tried meditating but have always been interested. Your explanation on how it changes your relationship with your son... very interesting! Maybe I'll set aside some time this week to "practice" this myself. xoxo

-- Sarah Medley Smylie

Court said...

getting away sounds delicious. the grandeur and simplicity of nature somehow helps to put everything in perspective. i hope you had a wonderful time. and a wonderful reunion with your boys back home.

Sue said...

A calm breeze drifting through me.
Where is this fair wind
Blowing from the ocean of peace?

Alone, with no one expecting,
I look into myself
To remember who I am.

My face ripples in the pond,
Blown by winds of self-doubt.
I breathe deeply to still the quivering.

Again comes the fair wind
And I turn to embrace it,
Empowered by God to aspire once more.

This is a poem I wrote in 2009 and your post reminded me of it. There is such power in purposeful solitude.

Call me about your gardening idea. I did rows with PVC pipe over 1/2" rebar covered with 4mm plastic this year. The only thing I wish I'd done differently was plant a month earlier.

Miss you! When can I come for a 3 hour massage and counseling session again? :)

eugie74 said...

Hi, Sarah! So good to hear from you!

eugie74 said...

Sue, I miss you. I love your poem. I wish the fair winds of peace would blow in my direction more often but I will gratefully accept what I get!