Friday, October 17, 2014

Tree Hugging Dirt Worshiper

Icy droplets of frost scattered across the frozen ground, illuminated by rays of early morning sunlight casting the illusion of glitter across the early winter landscape.  The temperature hovers around 13 F, our coldest morning so far this fall/winter.  Pancake ice flows down the slow, winding river.  I move across the frozen earth, one slow step at a time, searching for answers to questions that haven’t been formulated yet. In the meantime I am cultivating a sense of inner peace and stillness by literally embracing trees, grounding myself to the earth, and getting in touch with nature, one tree at a time.  

Last fall the landscape visually overwhelmed me (and my camera) in such a way that I could barely step outside without snapping a dozen or so pictures.  This fall the landscape is no less inspiring, but I find it hard to take photos or be creative in my approach to life. It is the price I am currently paying for being medicated steady and balanced. 

The dogs have no trouble easing into nature and being in the moment. They are my role models in a sense, I love to study the way they move and explore nature; wondering what it would be like to smell the array of scents scattered in every direction. 

It’s hard to believe we have lived here for fourteen months now. This place feels old and familiar: comfortable. Our old life seems to be a lifetime away and it’s even hard to imagine that we lived in the cul-de-sac de perfection.  The nights here are quiet. Sounds of jet planes overhead are absent, and the occasional traffic that moves by is hardly noticed.  

Every day we watch the sunrise over the mountains, sitting at the kitchen table sipping coffee and eating breakfast.  Life moves at a slower pace and the daily chores get done in an unhurried, mindful way. Being away from the buzz of the city impacts every facet of life. 

Solitude is part of the experience and I am adjusting to it now, after fighting it earlier this spring. I am learning how to be alone with myself: learning how to be me again.  I worked my way from the ground on down, now I am building myself back up again, taking new shape, slowly integrating the lessons I have learned into the life that I love.  

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Oil Can

Rapid heart beat, sweaty palms - the thud of heavy feet hitting the treadmill; step after step moving forward while standing still. The perfect description for “how I am doing” in any given moment.  Treading water: working hard to stay afloat.

Out on the trail the golden leaves crunch beneath my feet as I shuffle across the trail, bear spray in hand, while our dogs Petzl and Honey pace around me darting after squirrels, birds and other scents that catch their attention while I do my best to keep my body in motion.  The distinct fear of standing still has been with me for the past few years, as if standing still, pausing for a moment, would result in total self-destruction.  

The depression I have been in has left me out of words and out of energy to do most anything that would normally bring me joy.  As a result I haven’t been very active.  My return to running by way of hiking, walking and shuffling has left me feeling rusty.  Like the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz, muttering “oil can” from rusted lips. Oil can.  This process of recovery is teaching me several profound lessons, the lessons are the oil, the juice I so desperately crave.

Today I ran, it was slow, in spurts, but I did it. I took those steps and moved forward while standing still, muttering "oil can" in my brain, feeling all the feelings that come with being rusty from spending time sitting absolutely still learning how to balance stillness and motion.  Oil can, please.  

"A determined soul will do more with a rusty monkey wrench than a loafer will accomplish with all the tools in a machine shop." - Robert Hughes