Monday, December 31, 2018

Dianne Day

In my last post I was full of the joy of living here. 
One reason for joy that I didn’t include is my retirement from my own, self-imposed projects. My only ambition now is to enjoy my day-to-day life—I practice the Zen of my chores that support my large lot, three buildings, three pets and myself (note the order).
There was a time when I wondered: “Is this it? Is this all there is for the rest of my life? Will all day, every day (just about), for the rest of my life, be here with my pet friends doing chores until I die?” It seemed, in those moments, rather gloomy.
However, I now welcome those chores as my project of living here.
Yesterday morning when the sun shone into the forest, so low in winter, it was like the forest was on fire. And the wind gave incredible mobility to the trees. It was a stunning morning, so there were lots of people and dogs on the Sunday morning community walk.
It was a treat doing yard work in the beautiful sunshine of the afternoon; it was truly lovely and warm (for winter)! Plus the incinerator was roaring. I absolutely loved burning the forest detritus—the warmth (I should have had some marshmallows) and the snapping sounds and smells of the burning wood. When I added a branch rich with needles, I’ loved the great whoosh of flame their oils created. 
I got the front yard looking pretty good. All of the big branches are gone; only little bits remain to be raked in the Spring. The courtyard is almost back to normal too, but the rest of the backyard still needs a lot of work—some of which I’ll do today if I have time.
In the evening I baked cookies and stuffed some mural project panels into their envelopes while the TV was on. What a great, great day!
Today Dianne arrives to celebrate NYE with me tonight and she’s stay for tomorrow night as well. So I’ve laundry to do, beds to make and shopping to do.
2018 is over. Markers of time passing are scary now. However: I think of the Winter Solstice as the first step towards Summer and the beginning of the new year as the second, so we’re on our way!
2019 will see me become a mini-farmer as I inaugurate my vegetable. It’s also the year Steve, my dear ex, comes to visit. And, perhaps, my friend David, from London, will come. I’ll turn 72 and, in October, my second anniversary of life here in Paradise.
It feels like home here now—the nicest home I’ve ever had.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Red Sky at Night

Yesterday began with a lot of organizational work for the impending meeting of our self-portrait/community mural project. I think, for me, the worst is over. I’ve developed the idea, the panels, the protocols and the graphics. The rest (the party and all its parts) is up to the other members of the committee.
Sheba and I walked in a morning downpour and when I came home, I read my Kate Atkinson book. Then, miraculously, the sky cleared and welcome, welcome sunlight lifted my spirits, so I went to Drumbeg. And so did everyone else. It was as busy as summertime. 
I loved chatting with the people I met including Susan, who has a 45-year old son who’s developed psychogenic seizures and was diagnosed with PTSD. She was delighted to meet me and hear my seizures/C-PTSD story.
And the clouds in the evening sky glowed red I recalled and old sailors’ rhyme that my dad taught me: “Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning; red sky at night, sailors’ delight.” 
Then came a spa that was as welcome as the sunshine; I took my waters after sunset. I love floating in the 103° water, fully extended and watching the night sky. I once saw the Space Station and now I’m hooked on clear-night spas in case I see something again. Plus: The stars are excellent things on which to ponder. The clear skies proved, at least this time, that the old sailor’s rhyme is correct.
More proof: This morning, right above my house, in brilliant clear sky, shines the Little Dipper. It’s going to be gorgeous today so I’ll be able to get rid of more branches that fell into my yard during the storm.
When I get up each morning, my first awareness is of my “children.” I always give Sheba a hug; she likes to stay in bed while I get the fire going. Fred and Ethel come into the bedroom to greet me and together we walk to the kitchen where they want to be fed. But I turn on the lights and leave them there to get firewood.
When I sit down to write my daily post, my relentless innate desire is to rave about my life here. 
When I went for my long sojourn in France, I remember having periodic euphoric experiences as I walked in glorious sunshine with my huge backpack on my back. I reveled in a sense of freedom and independence that thrilled me. I loved living so fully with only the things in my pack; I loved being free of a phone and people.
Living here gives me the same feeling.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Me ***hole

I found out yesterday that I can be a complete asshole. Mind you: I found out from an interchange with a worse asshole. 
Yesterday I went into the village and parked in tiny parking spots for small cars. (I have a Fiat.) And when I was getting into my car, my door must have bumped the car beside me because a woman emerged from the car beside me in a fury.
I did not understand what was happening as she unloaded at me. I could see her but couldn’t hear her, so I opened my door and got out of the car as she called me vicious names and was truly, truly horrid. I immediately apologized and checked the door for any sign at all of damage. There was none and I told her so, but she continued just ramped up her insults. Then she said: “You didn’t even apologize.”
“I did so,” I said. “An apology was the first thing I said to you, but you don’t deserve an apology because, madam, you are a *****.”
Yes. It came to that.
That set her off, so she actually came ‘round her car and then came at me so I pushed her back. Then two bystanders interceded and the woman drove off. 
I could barely talk as I apologized over and over again to the two people who came to intervene. I hated that I’d called her a ***** and said how ashamed I was to both of them. I was thoroughly ashamed of myself.
Then I got into the car and had a series of seizures. 
That brought the man who’d intervened back to my window. He wanted to know if I was okay. I said I was and apologized again for my behavior and he told me that he knew the woman and that she’s lost her house in the storm. 
Okay, I’m sympathetic. But this morning I’m feeling less guilty. There’s no excuse for me calling her a name and pushing her. I should not have engaged; I should have gotten back into my car and left. I have learned a lesson.
I hope I remember at the end of the summer coming, that winter can be fabulous. I—and even Sheba—get through it handsomely. Today is another surprisingly warm day. It’s cloudy and will likely rain, but the dark days of winter make being indoors with a fire, nice low lighting and quiet, and gorgeous, classical music playing and reading is such a joy and a privilege! 
I love the variety of the music on the CBC classical programs and on the many streams on their website. Today I was listening to contemporary compositions featuring extended violin solos and, oh my God, it was beautiful.
In the quietest part, whilst the violin is whispering its highest notes, the rain on the roof provided an unusual and moody background.

Sister Wendy Beckett