A quiet morning. My car is broken and my body the same, so there is a welcome lack of running around. I think of all the things I have to do and am grateful for the respite, a time to reflect and write. I look out at adirondack chairs with peeling paint and rotting wood. The man who delivered them distaining my choice, “These are nothing more than firewood.” But I know I can sand and scrap and fill and repair until they shine with new life. But not today.
I own a bookcase now which is a revelation in itself and one of the reasons I can’t move from my bed. The young part of me thought it fine to carry it in, but my intention landed on months of lifting, hauling, hammering and Thanksgiving cooking. My body screamed, “Enough” and down I went.
The bookcase is a big solid fellow standing firm and steady, like a living room sentry emanating stability and a sense of home. Without fully realizing it, I’d made a decision long ago to keep moving and stay light on my feet, because where ever I landed would be temporary, a resting place until the next place and the next and the next. I needed to keep moving, which meant owning few possessions.
I had therapy about my lack of connection to place and earth, blaming it on my spiritual nature, personal wiring, or disconnection to family. It became something to live with and endure, a depressed sad place, like a low grade toothache that would never be repaired.
But then I moved south to Ojai and the sun and a tiny town of artists filled with people I could relate to. I rented a big house and found myself filling it daily with treasures from sales and thrift stores. The hunter gatherer in me came forward and the minimalist walked away. I’m putting down roots now, bookcase kind of roots, which are heavy, lasting and not easily moved.
Who is this person with all this furniture? Is she some relation to me? Life is so new and different and rich and sweet, with none of the adjustment trauma I feared – just a homecoming pure, simple and over-due.
Dear Julio works in the house and art space making earthy magic while dancing salsa and singing Spanish songs, friends Gino and Barbara tell me stories of Spain as they luxuriate in creativity and 60 years of passion. Lee makes silly jokes at the thrift store, delivering purchases in exchange for homemade cookies, and Teryn, a Portland real estate transplant, has embraced me like a lost sister. Old friends, clients and family stay connected, reminding me that I’m still loved and cared for. And I have my son, Clay, Khrystyne and my California granddaughter near, so where is the trauma in that?
Diminishing funds return my thoughts to healing work, an obligation to reinstate my financial life, but the work refuses to manifest, because it belongs to the person I left behind.
And so I wait and get scared and anxious, but mostly I trust, because the universe has brought me away from rain and wet and grey and dark and pneumonia, into a place of natural splendor and light. Surely this last piece will come forward as well, like the final note of a symphony hovering in the air – waiting for just the right moment to sound.