This is my reality now: sun-filled days, whirring wings, the strange, coaxing cries of ring-neck pigeons. A tan-white cat with arctic eyes who visits, meowing, for a pet & a pat. A bedroom in pale green; a bed with a hard mattress I settle into carefully at night. Three deep sinks & water that heats up just as I’m finishing the dishes.
The ocean is above in the sky now, endlessly blue with irregular white waves of cloud. My life is organized as I want it to be, with no commitments other than what I make, no activities other than what I put myself forward to do.
I am rounder here without the regularity of the gym to help. I need a bigger commitment & heavier weights to trim off & I have not yet committed to these. One day soon, though, I will do so.
Here I am not concerned about my age anymore. I don’t fetch up four times a day telling myself I’m a septuagenarian. I don’t feel it here: the light has made me lighter of thought.
I notice things more or I notice more things. It is easier to be kind. I enjoy dressing nicely each day & I really enjoy having nice clothes to dress in. I find myself watching much that goes by, cars, people, animals. The stars seem to wink on when the sky goes black – some celestial switch is flipped. The moon carries proudly into the morning & remains visible most of the day; you just have to look for it. Today is the first day I have thought about seagulls.
History is harsh here, dusty & drowned in risen rivers. In its beginnings as a mining town, there was little enough law (and strangely, this still seems to be of minimal presence as drivers fly through at all speeds except that cited on the limit signs.) There were no rescue groups to distribute blankets & water when tragedy struck. There were raiding Apaches versus “decent” households – huts built on stolen land where the warriors did not want habitation by whites to root or grow. To them, we were the pests with our domestications & demands upon the land, with our claims to scarce water & women dressed in layers & men in hot collars & coats, the children like children everywhere, wild-eyed but brought up to obey, so conflicted (as perhaps even today) by reality & what was passing for civilization. The East imported to the West was an unfitted overlay. Adaptation to local habits was “going native” with all the negative connotations thereto. We are a mixed-match, a blended heritage, a small, tightly-knit community where everyone knows something else about who you are.
I could vacuum everyday so I learn to live with tiny leaves shaped like small dimes carried in on my sandals. Flip-flops pick up grit in the toes – a startling pain – unless I’m staying on the map-cracked sidewalk, I wear closed-toe shoes.
Perhaps the history impacts more here since I grew up at the seashore & so know that with my blood. There is a taut ethic called into survival by realism: cactus, snakes, endless & unmarked space in all directions. Yet I love it & there is a westernized me indwelling, caught up in every breeze & flicker of light dancing among the leaves.
Here I can live as though I belong. Here I can make choices not based on need, but based on a personal truth. Here I can notice what does not belong to me & set that much more aside for recycle.
I have all I need.
Enjoyed your lovely post so much. I lived and hiked in the Colorado mountains for 30 yrs. and my last wish is to be buried in my ratty old tattered hiking boots. Sounds like there is a lot of territory for you to explore there. As for your previous obsessing re: your age, I thought that you were much younger than I at 66. We all miss you here at the beach very much, but are so glad that you are very happy where you are now. Happy Spring !!!