Wednesday, June 25, 2008
It stormed today, the skies pouring sheets of water down upon us.
All work stopped as the heavens thundered above us, as the lights flickered and computer screens went black. I wandered to the nearest window, but there were too many other people there, watching as the wind tossed billows of water, and debris along the street outside. Soon, I moved to the back of the building and opened the rear service door, where it would be just me and the storm. As I felt the cool water drops blowing in upon me, I had to fight the compulsion to step out into the pouring rain. I longed to feel the chilly water splashing over me, soaking me to the skin. I longed to spin and dance in the water covered pavement, with my arms wide as the water splashed around my sandaled feet. I fought the compulsion though. Sighing, I closed the door, and returned to my office, but with a smile on my face as I felt a few raindrops sliding down my arms.
After the storm, Gaea's green carpet unable to soak up the deluge, was covered in gleaming brown lakes, while the streets were frothy running streams. The sun soon appeared, adding his heat to the moisture laden air, drying up some of the water, helping to relieve some of her burden. The winds too, decided to come out and play, flirting with the leafy tree tops, setting them all aflutter as they littered the ground with sparkling droplets.
Storms are not peaceful entities, far from it, but they hold an attraction for me, one which I often don't want to deny. The sheer power infuses my body with a longing to be in the midst of it...a longing to be washed as clean as the air after a deluge. Even when massive damage is left behind, there is still this feeling of the world being somehow cleaner.
This beginning of my day, colored the rest of it. I moved through the rest of the day feeling stronger, more clear headed, staying calm no matter what came my way. Occasional bubbles of pure joy would occasionally burst inside my heart, and I could not help but beam it outward. Even the ever constant kernel of sadness that holds a corner of my heart was contained within this wall of strength and contentment.
I ended the day with a long walk, Moose on a leash by my side. Contentment still holding its place in my heart and mind. As my walk progressed, an awareness of my place in this world captured my thoughts. Living this life seems as if it should be so simple to embrace, when I look upon the natural world. Only I bring chaos to my world. Only I can smooth it away.
Tonight's walk began as others do on most evenings. As I begin my walk, I am aware only of my surroundings, searching for signs of new growth, admiring the wild flowers growing along the road side, listening to birdsong, and animals rustling in the trees and deep grasses. Breathing in the many scents that seem to change with each foot fall as I move over the river valley I live in.
After about 10 minutes of walking, I lose focus on my surroundings though, because I am too intent upon dragging my slothful middle-aged body up the steep, steep hill to reach the flatlands above. At that point I can only concentrate on breathing, in and out, in and out, placing one foot in front of the other. Each day though, my strides have become longer, stronger as I make my way up the hill, catching my breath is becoming easier.
Once I reach the hill crest, it takes a few minutes to regain my normal pace, then, my eyes are drawn to the fields on either side of me. I still find it odd to see the new housing subdivision near by, odd to hear the now familiar barks of the neighboring dogs. Each time as I reach the flat straight stretch of roadway at the top of the hill, my mind flashes back 19 years to my walks of old along this same road. There were only three homes on the top of the hill then. Then, 'twas rare to hear a dog barking. Some evenings, in my mind, I hear the ghostly echo of the pea cocks that once lived atop the hill.
As I strolled along beside the fields this evening, Midwestern maxims fluttered across my brain, "Amber waves of grain." "Corn knee-high by the fourth of July." Thinking, "They're true, these old sayings. The ripened winter wheat is indeed like waves of amber when the wind flows through it. The corn is as tall or taller than knee-high. At least it is here."
When I am about three fourths into my walk my mind will often turn inward, as I reflect upon the changes I have brought upon myself in the past year.
Tonight, as with many previous nights, I have contemplated theses changes, changes that have occurred within and without. A few days ago, this same walk was not an easy one emotionally...as the thoughts flowing through me were of a more negative nature. My niece is once again up to her old tricks, which places a burden on the entire family. A burden which may someday fall upon me. This thought folded me over in despair, as it would change all my dreams for the future. But, once I sorted through it all, I came away with the knowledge that I will do what needs to be done when the time comes, and worrying about it now solves nothing. There are a few things I will be doing in an attempt to change the current path my niece is on, perhaps only forestalling the inevitable, but I came to the decision that I will do what I must do, as will others, and hope for the best.
Tonight was a better night, I was opened up again, opened to what my life is, and I admitted to myself, that even though there are times when I still feel as if life could be better, I also know that today, each day, I live a truer life than I have for a very long time. And, much of that comes from the people I have allowed into my life. This new present of mine is me living and embracing these beautiful treasures.
I still have days when I am filled with worry. Worry about the divorce, its many ramifications, about my children, over money, or, the lack of. But, I am also happier than I have been for years. Even when I worry over potentialities that could have me losing my dreams, I hold onto a newfound feeling of joy. This joy is amazing to me. It came to me that it really is the few dear ones I have welcomed in, dear ones I would have been unable to hold so close just a short 13 months ago. In making my decision to leave my past, I accomplished something I had not been able to accomplish for many years. I am living each day, in the present, without thinking life will surely be better tomorrow. I have dreams and hopes for the future, which is happy making in itself, but I really like my now too. My friends, my loved ones are a huge part of that.
Having these few special dear ones in my life, is indeed a gift from me to me. I like them, I love them, just as they are, who they are. In fact their many failings and faults are what make them so very special to me.
There are times when I find myself holding an expectation in regard to someone I care about, because I have come to sense certain aspects of their personalities found along the path of listening to their stories. In allowing myself to really hear, I come to feel something about them, something that feels true. Along with the expectation, I sometimes have a hoped for result that is different than the expectation. What I find oddly reassuring, is that even during those times when I am disappointed that those I love met my expectations, and thus failed in giving the hoped for response, it pleases me to realize it's really OK when this happens. Because, in their meeting my expectation, I am learning to trust me again. I am learning that my innate ability to perceive the depth of, to know, my fellow human beings, is as strong as it ever was. I am learning that I am who I always thought I was, even though I strayed far from the path for a very long time, I was always there, I had just lost trust in me. As I regain this trust of myself, I then hold more trust in others as well. This is one of my more oxymoronic thought processes, but it works for me.
As I began my return journey home this night, dusk had truly fallen, and I had to let go of my inward focus, because the world had become a magical place. Due to the moisture laden air, my body was covered in a light sheen of perspiration, my T-shirt and shorts were damp and somewhat clingy, but due to the breeze this was not a discomfort, in fact it only seemed to add to all I was experiencing. As I turned homeward, the fields began to sparkle, thousands of fireflys began to appear and disappear as they dimmed and brightened in their mating dance. Their lusty luciferous signals seemed to reignite my own feelings of sensuality. Thus, during the final stages of my walk, my mind was filled with lovely, utterly decadent thoughts...thoughts of the pleasures our bodies are meant to enjoy.
Gotta say...even with all of its ups and downs...life feels really good right now, deliciously so!