Epilogue & Epiphany: Both Sides Now

I stare into the hurricane whose eye will not blink.

Many changes are in the offing (offering) of life. Now is as good a time as any to break open the piggybank of experience & count the coins. I give gratitude for the gifts & guilts of my existence. I have lived through so many changes & approach the imminent & eminent with calm reflection.

Where will I be five days from now? Floating out to sea (to see) or lying cold on a slab, I am ready for any ending & all new beginning in equal measure.

I look at myself & find no fear. I look into myself, finding only incubating change.  Even in the storm, the ocean retains its blue-gray beauty. I am of that same inevitability. I know the bedrock presence of Life no matter what.

The house is as secure as we can make it which means little when Nature focuses to bear down in Category Four force…pushing a wall of wind & water ahead. There is little safety on the surface, but I experience the clarity I traveled so far to find.

Rain pats down its Braille of gentle touch before meeting itself in rising water. Though inland from the beaches, I am exposed on all levels.

My change approaches at bullet train speed. The life cargo remains…yesterday I sealed packets at church – my DNA is in strange places forever.

Shall I write an entry or a eulogy? How many have this opportunity? Words will never dance to anyone else’s music as they have to mine! My uniqueness may be engulfed or overrun, but it will never be replicated.

It is time to ask yet again the meaning of life to manifest. I am proud of what I have accomplished even if my confused little heart has lost the Order of its yuan shen (Prime Directive.) It has ordered me about & I obeyed. I brought life to that which I thought in my own way. I have lived in many rooms where my energy still burns.

I write a farewell of sorts: this experience may be a grand exclamation point whether I go or stay. The universe landed me here at this time. I am lucky to have lived my heartbreaks early so more delight & joy may run before me, scattering rose petals of sublime expectation, of colorful invitation.

Bring me Home. I allow & welcome all revisions to the lifeline. Once upon a time I prayed hard for New Thoughts & now I write the words to bring truth to the request. I unwrap a totally individual Birthday Gift.

I am a light-bringer, a light-bearer. I know my days will never be the same as before. But this is only one timeline among many & I will be remembered with love for each encounter.

I’m ready, now, to blink.

Love,

Carol

A Birthday of Blessing

Being fully human: I am fully divine.

I am based in blessing

Rooted in divinity

Wrought in the free will of Self

Ablaze at times with the incandescence of a life well-lived

My joys are a playground of opportunities

The games they engender

Call through my windows

The call to prayer is also the call to play.

We are celebrants to Mystery

Dabblers in proven technology of partnership with God

Wanderers across trackless land

   Wrinkled sea

Our journeys return us, as always, to Heaven

The God Who sent me sends this storm

Spending me as profligate coin

Emotions discovered / recovered to Thee return

On that investment.

Bring me forth again, O Lord?

Take me into the marketplace of Your love

Use me to indulge Your desires

Circulate me in Your world: I wear Your fingerprints

I invest all wisdoms saved up from Love

Treasures indeed of a holy gathering

Help, health, insight & interest…

Pocket me with pleasure, God,

The shining copper penny, the one among the many

Allow my return over & over

As the bearing of Your spiritual tender

I am Yours alone until I rejoin the All

Here I am, Lord of Love

   Ka-ching!

Landfall

Hurricane Ian is coming. Arrival is Wednesday mid-day. But the acolytes gather with candles & water containers after securing their outdoor possessions & wishing they had a stormproof garage. I gave in to fear for about ten minutes, firing up search engines to track the storm, reading emergency procedures. That wore out fast! There was no way to sustain that broadcast of pitched energy which fizzled like a spent July 4th sparkler.

I pushed right through that brilliant, antechamber into the Grand Ballroom of Joy. I brewed another cup of coffee & sat back, rearranging the pillows to get comfortable. I thought about the only other hurricane I remember personally back at the Jersey Shore, which left us with inches of mud in our ground-level triplex in Wildwood. I was a useless kid at the time, squishing around in it until Mom chased me outside. (I have one persistent flashback of my brother & I staring out the windows of the third floor apartment watching the storm surges from the bay & the ocean meeting in the parking lot next door – and our basement, as it turned out. I remember Mom returning from a meeting with the Monsignor of St. Ann’s that night, pushing against waist-high waves to get home, having left our Chevy on slightly upraised Central Avenue. After 12 years of expensive Catholic schooling, the entire senior class had been booted for attending a beer party & she was begging mercy from a stone-hard black-clad man. None was available as he’d already collected all the fees available from every family.)

For close to a month now I’ve taken a homeopathic called Hyland’s Calm Forte which sustained me cross-country & now in situations where my lovable heart decides to turn up the volume & gin itself up for some imaginary battle. Calm continues to hold me in a gentle state of blessing, bringing heart to parade rest rather than parade march.

At the market, people were pleasant & seemed comfortable while at the same time piling their carts with all manner of foods. Our kitchen counter has 5 ewers, 4 plant watering containers, a couple of jars & my contribution – an orange juice container. I’m working on emptying another one as I write.

There are no candles in town (I have a half-dozen flashlights to hand), no jugs of water (see kitchen note just above – and there’s the scrubbed tub.) I think of the Weather Channel as the mouthpiece for a particularly rabid band of atmospheric jihadi. I think of the emptying liquor racks at the market & figure Florida’s hurricane button is plumb worn out. I anticipate walls of water slashing the windows, sluicing the streets. I figure on winds playing havoc with untended tree limbs & all these beautiful palm trees bending & bowing to its force. But I’ve not experienced a hurricane in years & never here, where it makes a personal landfall in a fury of no longer passing over water.

I’ve said it before: I can be dead anywhere when the time comes to slip the skinsuit. My papers are in order; someone will find them. This identity is so unimportant in the Circle of Life – another will slip in to write & maintain contact with God-Central. Memories are short & life is not terminated with physical discontinuance. It’s a skip in the record, a bobble on the CD, a bubble in the tape. My life can come & go at any time because what matters is I lived it. That I take with. I made some laugh, others think, some cry. I was one more burst of sparkle in the fourth of July fire engine parade. It will fade – or not – as I continue on, hitchhiking Eternity.

Ordinary Wisdom

WHO NEEDS BEGINNINGS?

I am getting into continuation more & more these days. I keep finding wisdoms which, I told a friend, bring me up so short, I leave mental skid marks. I know these are trite as cracks in sidewalks to others, but maybe you can share where I am if I share these:

[from The Midnight Library by Matt Haig]

“Sometimes the only way to learn is to live.”

“Never underestimate the big importance of small things.”

“Nora had always had a problem accepting herself. She always had a sense she wasn’t enough. She imagined now, what it would be like to accept herself completely. Every mistake she had ever made. Every mark on her body. Every dream she hadn’t reached or pain she had felt. Every lust or longing she had suppressed. She imagined accepting it all. The way she accepted nature. Just another sentient animal trying its best. And in doing so, she imagined what it was like to be free.”

These thoughts appear as I imagine my life as one long, tubular existence. Passing through corridors of “getting to where I want to be” which open into ballrooms or bedrooms or dappled forest clearings. The corridors have windows where I can see where I think I want to be. Arrival is one thing. Getting there a second. Accepting & staying there yet a third. That’s how possibilities become endless. Getting these sorted in my soul is like separating a dish of cooked spaghetti into individual strands. Just pour on the sauce & enjoy the meal!

Where’s your focus today? What are you doing for yourself or others? One morning on an early walk in T or C, I helped a woman using a walker to get a package from her mailbox. I thought how great it was to get my good deed for the day out of the way early on. I don’t think I’ve gotten all my good deeds out of the way yet…tho some came on early & were accomplished without fuss. Or even anyone noticing. Hey! I look at it as a reminder for self & others. It doesn’t look like I can do it alone anytime soon. If I reach out for help, I need to be prepared, indeed eager, to help those others.

The St. Francis Serenity Prayer comes to mind. There wouldn’t be so many quotes like that, nor would these be so popular – bookmarks, signs, bumper stickers, slogan posters – if they were estranged from practice or consciousness. That recognition tweaks a smile that we already knew that! The real smile comes with its accomplishment in daily life.

Leaving off here with one more quote, this one from Fall Out Boy:

“You are what you love & not who loves you.”

And you don’t have to quote me on that.

The Wild Pigs of Fortune

These words, as delicate as unicorns

Seeking virgins across a flowered meadow

Become

Wild pigs of fortune

Rooting morels of richest flavor

Growing in ragged rings

Trailing under trees.

I have dined on hope & horror

That sweet & sour of life –

I choose my plate & am served,

The pickiest of eaters

No longer starved but selective.

There is a future of poetry quiescent in me

Until it surfaces

An inexplicable sea of languaged possibility

An electricity of words

A rumpled lightning honed in thunder:

A power of music & movement

A violin plucked in silence

As solid as any ephemeral

Ringing the drums of inner ears.

I sing as it threads from me

Pure, honied notes

Caught in a seine of glisten      

Unfolding in echoes

One word spawning a generation of new thoughts.

The Magnum Opus of my earth-days

Breaking forth in syllables,

A waterfall of words

Manipulative argot yanking me

This way & that

Finally bouncing off the sky

As light breaks through.

I quest the possibilities of expression

For you, panning a seine net for gold nuggets

We can spend on the future

Cooking up possibilities where

We retire from the table, patting

Full bellies,

An unexpected belch of repletion

Bringing a smile since

There is simply no room for dessert.

Quiche & Stonehenge Lamps

up at 3:30 – this time zone thing is interesting… I was sometimes an insomniac before the cat came into my life, but now I am accomplished in the single digit hours. I prefer these dark darlings before everyone else is up. I feel like I’ve got a secret which satisfies my inner child enormously. I know when the lights blink or a plane flies over & I imagine the pilot looking down on twinkling stars not in the sky.

Yesterday I stopped at Publix to buy $8 lightbulbs (ulp!) (3-way & LED but look-like-real-GE-bulbs). I know LED isn’t good for eyes but have magically spelled the lampshades to filter out all of whatever is unhealthy emanating from them. And now I can have 30 watts with my coffee instead of 100. The lamps both take 3-way speed & are made of granite. They could be stood as monuments in a field – marking 100 miles from Camden – & would be there 100 years later. To move one requires all my strength, including core & a clenched bottom. That would be to relocate it even an inch to the right to fit my glasses in a certain circumscribed place on the night table. God help me. Was I always this anal?

Anyway, Publix. My roommate adds “but they’re so expensive” every time I mention the name. Like “St. Mary’s By The Sea,” “Publix But They’re So Expensive.” Yes they are indeed. But they are ubiquitous, like churches in the Bible Belt & squeaky clean & will give  you flowers on your birthday if you give them your personal data which they can sell for far more than $10 a bunch, as well as your bank card info. Got two sweet potatoes, two bulbs, an orange pepper & a package of two quiche shells for $30. BUT the upside is it was all in one place & did not involve a u-turn.

Now the quiches are made, well, one done & one cooking. One for the Unity potluck Sunday & one for us. Loaded: pepper, onion, asparagus, tomato, cheddar, squash. I now see what G means about buying veg ahead – one squash was rotted from inside out. Felt a little soft but was mush inside. Tropical climes. For whatever reason, the cukes are staying firm so I must eat them Very Soon.

We have ghost ants. Ghost ants have black heads. Not that you’d know that since you’d need to follow them about with an electron microscope to see them at all. I see dots moving about the desk calendar, or across the computer screen. Forget about seeing them in the kitchen on a marbled granite surface. I’m not even guessing how many I’ve already consumed, but since the Deep State is pushing locust bars & cricket chips on schoolchildren (so far only in Australia, but they’re a daring bunch anyway). Klaus says we will have nothing but he’s wrong. We can have Insects for Dinner, sauteed, baked, fried. Um, let’s talk about something else.

I’m back at sea level. I am made of salt water as I find out when I sweat through everything like three times/day. Walking out to get the mail, opening the door to see if the clouds might mean it’s gotten cooler & pushing the remote to open the car locks. That’s all it takes, folks. Since I’m down to three small half-drawers of clothing after the relocation, it can be quite the challenge to find an “outfit” by Saturday. Also, since I no longer care if I wear checks & plaids together, life gets more clowny as I get to Thursday wear. I cannot commit a crime: people will remember me. “That lady with the purple & greeny tights & the black & white stripe top? Yeah, what about her?”

I have seen cactus here, but they look sad & possibly rotting from the inside out. I ordered a children’s picture book on palm trees to learn some species. The smallest number I’ve seen is 22 but the book has 32, with pictures. And I expect I will memorize these as I read it by my 50-watt setting. I do keep looking for coconuts, some dim memory of a lifetime in Hawaii, not that I’d shimmy up a 50′ smooth trunk for it when I can buy one at Sprouts, yeh?

I do love the garbage disposal! Too bad the water table in NM doesn’t permit ’em. This is one you could put car parts down & retrieve paper clips.

Spent time at the library yesterday trying to send pix to computer via phone in order to retrieve them for emails, but they did not send. Since no one calls me – like – e v e r – the phone has become a good weight to hold down my purse should there be a high wind or should I not have put the strap under one of the lamps for safekeeping. Thieves would get a hernia trying to make off with it. I did take a pic of the lamp with the computer but it is squirreled somewhere with the ghost ants.

Aaaand it’s only Friday. 

“When Possible, Make a U-Turn”

I’ve read that even when we are lost, maybe turned around in direction, the place we are lost in needed our energy to pass through it. I am intrigued by this as it gives a validation to dithering. My Garmin unit has fallen heavily into like with Rt 75 here – Florida’s answer to 95 in Philly or 25 in New Mexico. I have it programmed for the fastest way & although I can see where I want to go across the “freeway”, the Garmin insists on getting onto that & going one exit north or three south in order to double back. This is how it achieves the “fastest” way – must go hammer down to match the traffic to exit a mile away when my landing was across the street.

The next direction it has bonded most sincerely with titles this blog. Now I’m the queen of u-turns. How many times I’ve been on the inside lane watching my exit sign off to the right whip by…well, let’s just agree I don’t want to say. But I don’t get excited about that anymore.

In thinking this over I find I must make a “you-turn”. Now, doesn’t that sound a bit better? I look again to see if inward shapes up with outward. I breathe away the annoyance or feeling of being stupid when I do. I understand there was some reason, perhaps unfathomable in the moment, but some causative that set me [literally] off from a target.

Now I get that when this happens, when Garmin says, “in one mile, be in the right lane to take 75 South” I can bypass that, pull off onto another street & cancel the route. When I reprogram, I am readily guided more gently on the surface streets as the unit ‘repents’ (rethinks) best route. It helps if I don’t steam up or get into a lather about it. It’s as though I’m on a retractable leash & just reached the end of it where it gets interesting when “click!” the brake device locks me down. By the neck.

English is full of words beginning with ‘re’. It always means some kind of do-over. I have often walked right through the safe space, climbing out of the bomb shelter as the planes drone over, carefully edging over or under the barrier of go no farther in peril of continuing. Limitations are temporary. I will get there from here.

I can be my own hero. It’s all that is left for me to do. I have been my own example & it sure is easier without the drama of agonizing each instant of it, but keeping an eye on where I want to be & knowing no matter how fast I travel past it, I can return. Accepting that English itself is the Trickster here, I move along steadily; we go hand in hand. It’s quieter without the quibbling.

If I can do it with a laugh, I’m in the overcoming lane. If I can do it with grace, I’ve benefited the territory by not leaving a trail of frustrated syllables behind, like a smelly bus.

I can read up all I want about how it works. I can preach it from on high (or on nigh) but the sure knowledge my goal is attainable as it is for my good, is astounding.

Soon I will no longer need the directions to be recited from the tiny screen replicating the exact place I am… how many times must I get there before the sure understanding that I can broadcasts a sunrise, illuminating all? Quite a few, it seems. I say to that, “Let’s go!”

Now, as I sort through endings, I keep finding beginnings I’ve set aside among these. They are shiny, eye-catching, attention-getting. And achievable!

When possible, live your best life!

Before the Cat Died

PREPONDERANCE

Tisanes of my own making:

I still say coming forward for others

Is more than my own reality

The vague blur of expired lenses

Less keen than real perceptions

The radiation of my Chernobyl life

Pulsing in the machinery.

My heart decides its own measure

Diverging from the body’s hosting.

Finding that  hidden doorway,

I sit shivering in shiva for myself.

Once held so closely to my chest

Now put aside in contemplation

Of The Other.

Yet this is current reality

My clickbait body

To which I return each morning

While sliding down the ropes of immortality.

I land with a jar of bones & teeth

In the town of not-enough & nevermore

The boundaries of why bother

Tightening their borderline personalities.

Will I mist to shadow

Transmogrify to barbered edges?

Shredding & shedding humanity for the Divine

The nature at central core

Patiently emergent.

Shall I pick my way through minefields

Fraught with memory, unbounded, unleashed, unremembered?

Does it matter?

As one among many

Unmanned by the sheer topography –

Of this experiential life,

Once glossed by heaven

This blank page

Forever scribbled now

Crossed out

A mess of blots & misspellings

A dictionary of what not to do.

My mind off to the side

While heart seeks another drummer.

Of all the doorways along the

Corridor of Eternity

Of all the tiger or the lady decisions

Shall I find forgiveness only in salvation’s selection?

MOVEMENT TOWARD

The channels of perception

Sharpening

Repelling static for clarity

I fight free of the physical

For the liminal of heaven

Washed by words

Scarred by sayings

I glisten at tidal edges

Will love refashion & reconstitute

Who I shall be?

Will crass materialism win over

Incandescent immortality?

I wander fields of inquiry

When answers are only found

Along the horizon.

Like babies

Cats keep their own timelines

Pulled to the watered-silk moon

An insistence upon awakening

Shedding sleep like virgin’s tears

Of awakening to a man sleeping alongside;

To single digits on the clock

From sleep to not-sleep

A bleary coming-to

I cross & recross that boundary

Between morphia & the mangle.

Her plumed tail floats last out the door

Her existential nature of query

Draws no worry in the night

She only wants to walk about in it.

I’m hardly awake & worry catches

Me up in headlong rush

Enough! These thoughts need brighter light to think

I drift upon the couch, ticking time

In decisions.

Pain is a slowed-down travel companion

A discernment rushed into decision

A refocus upon the means to journey

Through to the promise of arrivals.

Darkness to light

The words ride a tunnel into the light.

The night

Picks its way among gardens & highways

Taking cities by storm

Bringing the brace of salt & bitters

To a candy life

Too sweet to manage alone

I reach to friends who break taffy edges

I savor them as only perceptions

Of spice to be stirred into the stew.

Broken Like Mercury

The pieces of my life forever flow

In reuniting

Yet every bubble reflective of itself

Toxic

A balm to unhealed wounds.

I put my hands into the word-soup of life

Pulling out the same-same over & over

Putting them to a picture

Moving along sure edges,

Fitted to an

Other-where of perception.

Indentured abandon

Not yet an adventure

But simply a promise

That all will be new:

That all will be well.

Finished: the Night

Apace with poems

A toe-thorned cat asleep nearby

She purrs to hear me wake

Welcomed to morning

By her expectations.

The numbers on the clock-face

Are liquids soon abandoned

For the solid day

Soon abandoned by the sun’s

Hearty sibilance for the stutter of rain

My erratic heart abandons rhythm

In errata of timing: I am asymmetrical

Wondering will it also abandon me?

I have left off the lid on fear

Once contained

I pull the braided measure

To watch it unravel.

There is none but this now

I have survived to this hour

This night

Only me speaking

One hand clapping

The applause of a universe

Knowing no appendages

But only self-regard.

Will I close one eye to eternity

Or decide to have no body

But only a wing & wonder?

Unexplored, lost joy recovered

That relay of open gates

A call to angels to attend me

A sustenance of grace attendant

To continuing on

Bodiless as a naked soul.

None to greet me in dystopian Paradise

A chair in a corner

A pen & pad

To rewrite me into another life.

Death Is An Invisibility Cloak

Life recedes behind me

A memory before a dream:

A place where God looks up from His desk

Adjusting His glasses

Laying down the Book of Life He writes

To say, “Oh, there you are!

How was it?

Again, why did I create you?

When  you passed, a thousand drums went dumb.

Come here, my girl, tell me all & that you wrote what you lived:

The banal & the miraculous…

Do you remember all the times you touched My face in passing?”

I will cross the room in laughter,

“Father! I made it! It was extraordinary!

However did You think of it all?”

I will be whispering for all eternity

Now penned in heaven

Awaiting Your words.

There Were No Clocks

As I drew my last breath

Released in a rattle: there

Was no time left to record,

Only words scattered on the floor

Of my mind.

It was all for You, after all

And I’m not sorry for the mistakes

Or falling from grace to land on my face

In the mangle of years.

Searching only for the

Exit, the entrance,

Knowing neither right nor wrong

Would enter anywhere beyond this realm

The physical of living too well

While overdressed & compliant with survival.

I bought life, spending all that I had

I hand You my purse, empty of only Love’s royal return.

(3/22/22)

Being Again

I have changed up my luck & my life many times, not being one to stay in place & talk while change happened all around. I’m at that lever point again where each choice takes me to a more fulfilling place.

Mark, 5:36 says “Do not fear. Only believe.” Whew! Good advice there! I’ve taken it on as a mantra & with gratitude for the “holy backup.”

I had no expectations on coming to Florida, really not knowing what I’d discover here. My new roommate did not quiz me on wants or needs to bring attention, I did not put expectations out there, except for it to be different from what I was/had/did in T or C.

These differences are astronomical. Yesterday in a meeting about literacy, we played a game based on Jeopardy & one of the questions was which state has the lowest level of literacy in U.S. I mumbled “What is New Mexico.” I was correct. Ineffably sad to me when someone cannot read or write, I am remedying this by joining the Literacy Council & training as a tutor.

I genuflected on going into the library – more of a church to me than all else. The staffers here everywhere are positive, helpful, genuine & creative. I’ve been able to afford new glasses at an optometry store – a dream of years but since last pair cost $500, seemingly far out of reach. I have a wall of books available in the Community Center here. I have a church family now to make laugh since that’s my favorite thing. And people are so ready to laugh!

Seems like pretty much everything is readily available here which was more of a rumor in T or C. All kinds of community facilities & events, long walks by water, Time & more to recreate my life & offer my unique talents to a place & an appreciative populace. For me, service is the essential of my being, as needed as all else.

For the poverty I saw across the country, the empty storefronts & sagging signs, from the fast-food-only offerings to fresh greens & meats, for lawns without rusted hot water heaters & garages full of bulging, mottled boxes, for the well-tended pets & the lack of hungry cats crowding the yards… It is an unexpected lift to my life-spirits to be in a place where it all I see is organized & tended. Of course there are still many living in their iPhones or intent only on passing the next car on the road. But these seem echoes faint & faraway to my observations. Florida is a state of mind as well as method. I anticipate establishing myself in the community & moving forward to a much higher & more loving state of knowledge, aiming for enlightenment.

My loving nature is expressed by all the writing I do. I bring to light stories about myself which will place them in the heart of a wondrous, organized universe that makes butterflies in larvae, that grows mighty sequoias from one tiny hold-in-you-hand “seed.” I live in a place where my now is for the benefit of others & the betterment of self. My stories help others achieve their goals, release their fears, understand more of what happened. All my friends & lovers are in a place of sending me joy & delight when they think of my name, my face, my voice. I return these tenfold, understanding that Love is the nature of the universe in which I dwell & have my being. I reflect & release any event or thought which does not fit into this pattern of affection, unfoldment & endorsement of my understanding of God & Divinity which showers upon me unceasingly with a blink & a wink & a blessing of smiling energy. And so it is!

My poetry Muse has gone to the nearby beach but she’ll be back. In the meantime I write prose & praise & power as I grow into this now, this new. Late in life for it all, this is, but here & now counts for far more than lottery winnings if you’re happy.

Be in love, people. If you’re not, take any train, boat, plane or scooter you can to get there. Then turn around & show everyone else the way.

Love,

Carol

Landings

I wonder why I lived in such a hardscrabble place as T or C now. Perhaps cuz I didn’t know it was such. It filled all needs for some time. I had forgotten (or perhaps never had access to) the option to stay anywhere else without pulling down a salary when I’d rather stay retired.

I feel I’m living that cliche, “died & gone to heaven,” though I’m still very present here.

The environs are restful on all levels: the greenery is peaceful & seductive to unused-for-years portions of my mind. The bare-bones landscape of the desert, the crunch of boots on grit, breathing dust in battering winds are all interesting & strangely beautiful. I know I can survive there well. Being here is literally moving from ground floor to the penthouse with no stairs or elevators involved.

The softness of the land is softening me too. It cushions all corners; my eyes rest & are absorbed by the verdance rather than bounced off glare.

I’m active in the same geographic square as in T or C. The places I frequent are within a couple of miles in radius to home. The bank, walking, a wild assortment of stores from “Beads!” to “Axe-Throwing” are nearby. My new Unity is about 2.5 miles & I may serve there at will. Beauty is everywhere in the neatly-ordered neighborhoods, brilliant flowers, tall palm trees, clear lawns, pastel homes… a “Wow!” which is not a loud whistle, but an under-breath sigh. So far, there have been no flaying winds of dust forced upon me.

I found it an inconvenience to drive so fast, so far & land on a holiday weekend. I was ready to continue the giddy-up, to check in immediately on practicalities of re-establishment. Now I see it was a blessing to blinker out of the fast lane & coast to the curb; a feather plucked from high winds to land trembling aground. What I perceived as restrictions have come to actually be a preparation, a kind of “Whoa, Girl! Slow this whole thing down!”

I was primed for the passing lane & now am parked, absorbing an orientation. I am taking notice of taking heart.

Of course all around still moves at speed & few obey speed limits already set up a bit from my usual, 40 from 25 mph. But streets are wide, well-marked & notably lined for expediency. Warnings & signals & ease of u-turns (always a feature for me!)

Today I slide from neutral into gear. I’ll open a bank account, maybe get to a library branch, talk with a gym about membership, contact an eye doctor. The list I’ve carefully pecked out on the phone’s memo pad is about to go live, check, check, check.

I am so grateful! My basket of blessings is filling while leaving room for so many more!