Day Trip

And so the day opens dark, cool, and crisp with thoughts of the winter to come and how to handle it. The winds and rains have ended, calm remains.

Looking out at the steady rain all through the day yesterday, is it possible to still walk? But winds kept me in, restless and bored. There is curative power in fresh air and Mother Nature, the natural healer.

The sun is supposed to peek out so it is a good day for a trip to the falls which ought to be engorged. And though warm nights have kept the trees from turning to colors, now they are beginning and it’s time for a day trip and exploring.

Trail Cam Photos

Wild pears, YUM!

BEE GRATEFUL

Waking after another rough night up too late, having to take something, my first thought? Why not be grateful? Instead of sitting a good part of the day in grogginess, snapping at Samuel so much he stays far away from me, why not turn it around?

Out walking early helped to metabolize the drug, also adding the benefit of uplift once the happy chemicals kick in. Instead of it being penance for eating off anxiety in the night walking rigidly just to get it done, the walk was paced slowly enough to suck in the heavenly scent of wet earth and decaying leaves.

Round and round noticing the aroma which goes straight to my core, a squirrel surprised jumping to the next tree, the crunch of nuts under my feet. And Samuel? We sat, laughed, and chatted over morning coffee, a miracle, because usually after a bad night which of late is too often, no company is wanted…just leave me alone.

But be grateful, the mantra while walking. Why not? There is an ability to waver one’s attitude to a more upbeat tilt. It includes acceptance that my body will do this no matter how many healthy habits are incorporated into my day.

A life of daily terror to my body because fear was around every corner took its toll. Not fighting it or blaming myself for not controlling it is a start. Gentleness swept in.

While walking on a crisp damp day the thought of rewards for this effort included a lavender Epson salt soak in the tub and a pot of ginger vanilla chamomile tea. The day went much better, from a blob on the couch to living it fully.

PIE PARTY

And so right down to my core comes breath… clear, free, and pure. Hashed over all summer and before? The origin family, or what’s left of them, and being a part of it. It is (finally) OK.

But first things needed to be said, or written, as that is how my words come, through written form. Don took it well and with a loving response. Seth, quite the opposite. It came to a standstill almost ending altogether. But he came back with a response that lent credence and my armor was put down.

We had a grape pie party from our own grapes on what might have been the last sunny day in the 70’s. Seth, Don, and his wife, along with both dogs, loving the meadow running free. Huge cups of dark rich coffee sipped happily creek side with laughter and ease, coming up to a decadent pie lunch topped with large scoops of vanilla ice cream.

Hours passed on this sunny day, my soul set free, with a heart safe to open.

NATURE

Last night’s moon

Often after a dreary, cool, damp day, the sun comes out to kiss us goodnight causing the hill over the meadow to light up as if burning. Then the moon as darkness envelopes the earth, lighting up the surroundings more eerily.  Getting out of my head into nature is the best cure for whatever is causing my negative loops which increase in the cold months. And exercise.

Suddenly my reverie breaks looking over the meadow as my footfalls come to a stop. Even in late fall there is beauty and action because birds and other critters are always busy. They don’t ‘think’, they move, sing, eat and just live. Getting ready for bed the thought arose, what’s the point? Each day awaking to what, what’s my purpose? But maybe, like the animals, it is to just live.

Live as fully as possible in each moment and cherish it.

Sunset in the West aglow on hill over the meadow in the East…taken on our back deck. (moon too)

JOYFUL CHILD-LIKE ABANDON

The wind through my hair, legs pumping round and round, tires crunching over the fallen leaves along the trail by the water.

“This is so much fun!” I exclaim to Samuel more than once, adding, “I feel joy!”

The sun dappling the path, warming my back in the open spaces, a deer skittering across still with its spots. A bike ride after a few good nights of sleep was just the tonic to bring joy, happy memories of childhood rekindled, of which there were some.

In those days, our country road had little traffic so we had free reign, riding our bikes all day everywhere in the neighborhood unperturbed by parental restraint. She was at work. We could hike the hills too exploring the ponds, cow paths, and trails, with no one to say we couldn’t.

Of course, having no adult monitoring the home also had horrific consequences for me- but interspersed between the horror was joyful abandon. Joyful memories didn’t come up out of me until the horrors came too. (writing the book after my mother died 12 years ago)

Samuel and I decided to shorten the usual 1 ½ hour ride to less than an hour so our butts wouldn’t hurt. Now it is fun and not so much work. I want to do it again and again!

PERMISSION for PEACE

PHOTO BY PATRICIA

The stillness permeates my soul. Quietness envelopes, as the crickets interrupt the peace with their constant happy drone. Sun rises into my face absorbing its rays until mornings are so dark the full spectrum light will take its place. Cold will require the porch door be shut.

Northeastern states have such a vibrant change of seasons, the brilliance stunning, the colors, sounds, and feel of each one taking my breath away.

In every moment there is vibrating living beauty if you are there for it. For most of life that has not been possible. The gift given to self is the permission to be at peace and love it.

SIMPLE THRILLS

Though mother-nature threw a hot sticky week in at the tail end of summer, my skinny dipping days are numbered. After becoming sweaty during meadow walks, it isn’t easy pulling up a bathing suit over my body- so why bother? Neighbors can’t see through all the foliage and trees we planted, so go for it!

And it is heaven, bobbing up and under, feeling the cool water over my skin washing off the stinky mosquito spray needed to fight off those needle nosed poison pokers as big as crocodiles. Glorious.

It is new to almost wish for the first frost weeks, or months away, just to kill those suckers off. After the rains mid-summer, they began hatching thriving more and more after every rain of which there’s been many.

But isn’t that the way of life? Taking the good with the bad, and finding common ground for both. Be steady. Find your peace. And keep your boat afloat.

PIE STORY

After two large kettles of apple sauce, why not pies? Pies? You must be mad, insane, out of your mind. But it sounded so reasonable to me. So away we go.

“Make two,” Samuel said. Two?

“Who is the other one for?” I asked, thinking of who might be the best recipient.

Peeling, slicing, then peeling and slicing some more. When the bowl was full there was way more than enough for two, so it had to be three.

Mentally asking myself, do you really want to spend the day making pies? Sure.

But then the crust.

“Samuel, I’m out of flour,” I said, dismayed that there was exactly enough flour to make just one pie.

“OK,” he said, adding, “I’ll go get more,” already salivating for the imagined apple pie as images swam in his head more desired than sugar plums.

We don’t have sweets around much because I’ll eat them. Though losing my taste for sweet desserts or candy, there is not enough will power within me to resist. And lately, since becoming a calorie counting maniac, this endeavor was madness. Why didn’t I see it?

Happily rolling out crust after crust, it is an art, and one has to be in the right frame of mind. There have been times when it was too wet, or too tough, and just terrible. But this time? Perfection for all three.

One went to friends down the street, one for the freezer, and one for Samuel. And though he had already been to the store once that day for more flour, he swung by again arriving home with ice cream cradled happily in his arm.

“What! Ice cream?” I exclaimed.

Later than evening, Samuel came into the living room with a dinner plate. Not a dessert plate, a large dinner plate with an ample slice of the most perfect pie I’ve ever made swaddled and surrounded by mounds of white cold creamy ice cream.

Happy to have brought such sweetness into Samuel’s life, I went to bed also satisfied that I did not indulge. That lasted until a bit after 8PM, then it was all over. And unfortunately it tasted so good another piece might as well go down. (with ice cream too)

Mentally counting the calories while trying to sleep on a bloated stomach the truth was bitter. Those kitchen trips were a day’s worth of calories. The truth was bitter, but that pie sure was good!