We visited last week at 5000 feet in the pine and cedar forests of Payson, AZ at our niece Linda Mills’ house. She has a lovely, comfy home at the end of a culdesac where it’s quiet and cool. We played with her great dog Cody, shopped, prepared and ate meals together, sat on her porch in the early evenings and listened to the birds and enjoyed the gentle breeze. Before we left she got out her tools and installed our new fire extinguisher and repaired our screen door. Things that would have taken us hours to accomplish, if we could have done them at all, she made look easy! It’s been a peaceful, loving week and we are so grateful for her hospitality and unassuming goodness.
Yesterday we headed southwest through Mesa, where we picked up our provisions, made it through the middle of Phoenix on the freeway, and then back out to the open desert for a total of almost 300 miles before arriving just 10 miles from Mexico in Yuma, AZ. We stopped in Gila Bend for a late lunch at Humberto’s and had a delicious burrito and yummy rolled tacos. Things were going swell until late in the day, and at the extreme end of my availabile energy and attention, both the GPS and my husband insisted that our destination lay in the middle of a cornfield on a dirt road too narrow to get out of without backing up for half a mile! Sigh. And the resort’s phone is answered by a machine which says they’ll call back. Maybe. Sigh. But, as I like to say a lot these days, there’s more than one way to do absolutely everything! After turning off Google Maps and asking my darling to just be quiet, please, and let me think, I discovered a map feature on the resort’s website which gave different (and more accurate!) directions to our destination. Praise God!
So, because of our delay, we arrived after the registration office was closed. Sigh. But all is not lost. A camp host came swiftly to our rescue and got us registered, assigned a lovely spot with a view of an enormous grassy field out our kitchen window, a spot which is close to the pool and laundry facilities, has clear sky access for our satellite dish and then he even provided us with glossy magazine information about how to walk across the border into Los Algodones, which is apparently a haven for retired gringos looking for inexpensive and expert medical services not covered by Medicare.
So, here we are. It was warm enough last night to leave all our windows open, which means it will get hot enough today to close it up and turn on the AC this afternoon. We’ll check out the pool (natch!) and read up on border crossings. The whole conversation about immigration and walls and troops is brought into sharp focus in my mind. I wonder how we will be received as visitors on their side when things are the way they are on this side. I must look up how to say “Sorry!” in Spanish.
Sometimes we marvel at our own audacity. The choices we make, the adventures we have, the obstacles we surmount are really rather remarkable when we consider how predictable our lives were for so many years. I’ve been sitting here writing in the predawn quiet. Roosters are now crowing, rosy fingered dawn is emerging, a trash collecting truck can be heard in the distance and my coffee is gone. Gil has awakened and joined me and a new day has begun…
In the predawn hours, I sit quietly and notice the worlds within and without me. Wind rattles the handle on our closed awning against the side of our motorhome. I feel the gentle rocking and I relax into it. A train rumbles in the distance, moves closer, and louder, the whistle blows once, twice, three times, and the rumbling recedes into the silence again. I don’t know where it came from, what it’s carrying, where it’s gone. I simply notice. The muscles in the left side of my neck and shoulder feel tight. Actually, they hurt. Gently I turn my head in that direction, ease into it and release the tension. It hurts less. Gil interrupts my reverie with questions about where we’ll go tomorrow, when we’ll leave, what he’ll wear. I answer patiently. Then he asks me to explain the end of the book we finished yesterday. He interrupts my answer and I resent that, and I respond with irritation. And the whole point of this writing is brought into sharp focus. When I allow, when I notice, when I let it be, I am at peace, harmoniously in synch with all that is. When I resist, my heart closes, my head pounds, my body tenses and I hate who I’ve become. Today I let that out, told him how I felt, hoping he would understand and empathize … and change. Instead, the look of confusion and sadness in his eyes told me he had no clue what he had done wrong nor how to fix it. Sad puppy-dog eyes. No one kicks the puppy. But one sometimes kicks oneself.
Dawn came. Breathing slowed. Heart opened. I spoke soft, reassuring words to my dearest friend and longtime beloved. Peace reigned. And, slowly, like releasing a tense muscle and leaning into the pain, I forgave myself.
I still don’t know where the train came from, or where it went.
We drove from Lake Havasu City to Salome, Arizona yesterday on Gil’s ninetieth birthday. It was a beautiful two hour journey we stretched to three. We followed the meandering Colorado River, went through colorful rock canyons of improbable shapes and hues, over miles of shrub covered dunes and past remarkable cacti. We even drove through a tiny town called Hope. Careful, don’t blink or you’ll miss it! As we left, we both noticed a sign by the side of the road saying YOU ARE NOW BEYOND HOPE! We laughed out loud! Gil said, “Finally!” And I said, “Yeah, because hope is a subtle illusion and an unconscious compromise!” (Quoting Ernest Holmes from his Science of Mind textbook.) He also said it was better than despair, but inferred that it was not by much. That’s because hope has no power in it, no juice, no generative oomph! Sort of listless, passive even, not much is going on there or likely to happen in the near future. Hope completely abandons the creative energy of the correct use of mental and spiritual law.
An honest appraisal of current reality coupled with a grateful heart however, will actually propel us from where we are to where we want to go with incredible ease and speed. As the non-judgmental voice of the GPS wizard corrects our course, this three part process guides us unerringly. “Are we there yet? No. But we’re not in a ditch either! Great! So which way? Okay! Let’s go!”
Thankfully WE KNOW AND WE KNOW THAT WE KNOW! Now that’s when hope is no longer warranted and we’re finally beyond it!
There was another couple at the pool last week when we went for our dip. In their late twenties or early thirties, they were experimenting with new snorkeling gear they said they’d bought on EBay. They practiced getting the fit right, holding their breath for dives to the bottom of the pool and clearing their masks and snorkels. We asked where they planned on using their equipment as there wasn’t much to see in our little pool. They told us of wanting to go to Hawaii, past trips (for him) in the Caribbean, how fun it is to feed the sting rays while standing on a sand bar, miles away from any “land” and how you position your hand like you’re feeding a horse, but it feels like a vacuum cleaner sucking at your palm. The four of us floated around and talked of many things: jazz and who was really genius versus the merely great; the film industry and how he loves to write and direct movies which, sadly, we have never seen; how we are all orphans with no parents among us still living and how that feels… She reminded us we needed sunscreen. I had forgotten to bring any. She had us use hers and supervised us getting all the parts of our faces covered the way you help a small child who, nevertheless, wants to do it herself. Gil got chilled and we moved to the spa to warm up and our conversation flagged. Before we left for home, I asked their names and told them ours. First names only.
When we used to take our granddaughter Aiden to the park she always made friends readily. They would meet and greet and move forward together, talking, playing, getting drinks of water, laughing and expressing tender concern if one got hurt on the equipment. She could tell me their favorite color and how they smelled when I’d ask her about her new friend on the trip home, but she could never tell me their name. It seems that wasn’t an important piece of information to share and they never got around to it. She was surprised I’d asked about something as inconsequential as a name.
When we walked back from the pool to our home, I realized that I wished I hadn’t asked that couple their names; it actually felt friendlier before I knew.
“I know where I’m going and I know who’s going with me. I know who I love and my Dear knows who I’ll marry…” Traditional Irish Ballad
New moon. Planets going (or in) retrograde. Equinox aready in the wings. A quickening. Sap rising. A sense of expectation…
Sometimes I think I live my life in song, the lyrics anyway.
“It Might As Well Be Spring” ~ restless as a willow in a windstorm
“Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most” ~ spring is here, there’s no mistaking, robins building nests from coast to coast
“In The Garden” ~ and he walks with me and he talks with me and he tells me I am his own
“Side By Side” ~ Oh! We ain’t got a barrel of money
Maybe we’re ragged and funny
But we’ll travel along
Singing a song
Side by side
We don’t know what’s a-comin’ tomorrow
Maybe it’s trouble and sorrow
But we’ll travel the road
Sharing our load
Side by side
Thru all kinds of weather
What if the sky should fall
Just as long as we’re together
It really doesn’t matter at all
When they’ve all had their quarrels and parted
We’ll be the same as we started
Just travelin’ along
Singing a song
Side by side
Thoughts, like fragments of songs, go swirling through my head:
Sometimes we almost feel embarrassed to be so blessed. Aren’t we silly?
Some trucks have their owner’s name emblazoned on the side. Cabs have little signs that stick up from their roofs advertising stuff. Busses, too, sell space to get somebody’s message across. We just have our Nevada license plate which reads LUV2YOU on the front and back bumpers. Besides the obvious advantage of defusing others’ potential irritation at us for going too slowly or driving like tourists, which we always are, there is simply the benevolence of the thing. We intend to be a blessing, however small and perhaps insignificant, wherever we go. You never know who needs to be told they’re lovable.
We travelled 175 miles today, it being Wednesday, our moving day. We left Bass Lake, where it rained most of last week, at 9:00 am and headed west and south for dryer, warmer climes in Bakersfield, California down Highway 99. After another stop at Trader Joe’s for groceries, we checked in to the River Run RV Resort at about 3:00 pm. It’s a lovely place, right next to a hotel with both pool and spa heated and open to us. There are restaurants in the hotel, steak house and sushi, we’re told, in addition to the usual fast food fare. Our cell phones have signals, there’s free WiFi that actually works, a handy laundromat, our satellite antenna isn’t competing with too many trees for a view of the southern sky, 30 amp electric hookup, water and sewer all working perfectly and the pad where we’re parked is even level with no adjustments needed! It’s the little things that mean a lot! We’re no longer used to the sound of traffic though. When we were tucked in little out of the way spots where many of those aforementioned amenities weren’t available, it was, however, very quiet. Almost like quiet was a thing, the way noise is.
The picture above wasn’t taken here. I think it was taken somewhere in Oregon. We were too tired to go exploring and take pictures when we arrived today. Maybe tomorrow, when we go to the pool. We like taking selfies while soaking, maybe you can tell that from previous posts!
But for now, I’m noticing (again) how much traffic sounds like surf…
And before we turn in, I just wanted to remind you of how very much you’re loved… Sweet dreams.
I used to think that my anxiety, or what some know as panic attacks, had real life corollary events or causes. Similarly, I expected that some change in the world of manifestation would be the remedy. Wrong on both counts apparently. I have witnessed and weathered terrible crises with remarkable aplomb, collapsed into helplessness when absolutely nothing averse was occurring and experienced no perceptible shift inwardly at all when conditions improved or deteriorated. Now that’s just weird if you ask me!
I do have a strong preference for equanimity, even cheerfulness. And I am willing to adjust whatever is necessary to restore my equilibrium. But sometimes the only thing that seems to work is a pill, prescribed by someone credentialed and taken according to directions. I’m not sure why that should be for me an occasion of shame; Ernest Holmes said there was as much God in a surgeon’s knife or a pill as in a prayer, and I have believed him on everything else.
So I hereby admit there are times when I weep uncontrollably for no apparent reason and times that I tremble with dread and other times when I am vicious in speaking to my most dearly beloved. But not today. I saw it coming and took the pill. I will return to reading (Fire and Fury, nothing upsetting there!) playing Words With Friends, listening to it rain on our metal roof, making beef stew and cornbread for dinner and gently responding to the dear man around whom my life revolves with good humor and gentle affection. I guess that makes the little pill a bloody miracle, huh?
“…Not all those who wander are lost…” Tolkien
We began the new year in Pine Grove, California visiting our granddaughters Maddie and Aiden who live with their maternal great grandparents Gerry and Carol Glover. Carol is a homebody who loves to cook and garden and play card games with our girls. She fed us wonderful meals every night for a week and still had time to read, bake fresh apple pies and attend four high school basketball games in which her great grandson played. Gerry is a retired firefighter with a garage full of mysterious tools and spare parts that can be used for all manner of things. On our behalf, since we arrived with the new refrigerator door in a box, he not only installed it for us but manufactured a necessary piece that was missing as well. Maddie worked everyday at her job in the local hamburger joint. She’ll be seventeen next week, and is tall, willowy, smart and thoughtful of others. While her job and social life are quite demanding, she made some time each day to spend with us so we could feel included in her life. Aiden, at twelve, is now five feet tall and wears the same size shoe I do! She is sweet and mischievous, somber and playful, wise beyond her years. It was such a delight to hold her on my lap, just for a minute, and then listen to how the world looks from her perspective. She also had great fun assembling the solar powered modular robot we got her for Christmas! It’s kind of like legos, only it does stuff and then she can disassemble it and reconfigure it as something else! We had a thoroughly satisfying and delightful visit.
Yesterday we drove into Stockton to get provisions at Trader Joe’s, fill up on fuel, mail a letter and replace our frayed iPhone charge cords before heading south to Bass Lake Recreational Resort. We’re just south of Yosemite and north of Fresno, nestled in the foothills at about 3500 feet above sea level. It rained a bit last night and more is forecast intermittently for the coming week, but we’re all snug and happy in our mini-casa. Gil says the pool is open and looks heated (steam rising from the surface) after his reconnaissance walk this morning, so I think we may give it a try when the sun peeks through. Meanwhile, I’m still experiencing some sort of bug that has me sneezing, coughing and feeling subpar. Fortunately I can just hunker down and heal. No demands or worries, nor even home repairs! But if we are to get back to our latest Dick Francis mystery, Gil will have to take over the reading aloud as I can barely croak and may lose my voice altogether. He is trying not to smirk.
Sometimes those of us who practice applying the Law of Attraction are accused of blaming the victims. I avoid this unnecessary and unproductive unkindness by not speculating on how your life is going or why. It is only useful when I apply my knowledge and understanding of this Law to myself and my own experiences. When I share what I learn, I become even more clear about it. If that resonates with you, then you can use it. If not, leave it. I don’t claim to know what’s best for anybody else. With that disclaimer in mind, here goes…
As that which is seen is made up from that which does not appear, or, since thoughts really do become things, I get that my life is my consciousness writ large. I don’t actually know or monitor my thinking carefully enough to be consistently aware of it, so it is helpful to me that it shows up in form in an ongoing fashion. And since the process of creation always moves from ideation to manifestation, it is true that “body is the last to know!” This time lapse can obscure a shift in consciousness that hasn’t made it into physicality yet, while my body is busy acting out a previous and unskilled mental attitude. This discrepancy, if not acknowledged, can lead to misinformed and counterproductive self-criticism. If I allow for the limitations of the space/time continuum and acknowledge that I am progressing nicely in my enlightenment process, I can nurture rather than impede my own growth.
So the appropriate question for me to ask myself is not: “Whatever was I thinking that brought on THIS?” but rather: “Isn’t it lovely I am releasing an old worn out idea and have moved on to something more elegant?”
Happy New Me!
No such thing. Every time I finish the dishes, fold and put away the last load of laundry, rake the last leaf, dry the last tear, I think of “it” as complete. Finally. Yeah, right. Not in this universe. The space/time continuum is a Möbius strip, going up the stairs in a drawing by M C Escher or the ones at Hogwarts, the original Never Ending Story, the Windmills of Your Mind… Is that comforting or terrifying? Depends.