Living in CA it’s easy to get used to the predictability of sun-filled summer days. Afternoon thundershowers up at high elevations – brief if sometimes violent – can break up the blue sky, but the actual sound of thunder… it is the kind of thing worth leaving your desk for in the middle of the working day to run outside in the hopes of catching a flash of lightning inspiration.
This afternoon, the clouds kept things cool, and then right around dinner time we were treated to the gentlest pattering of rain drops – not quite enough to dampen the dirt. I smelled it before I saw or heard anything, that sweet smell of rain on thirsty plants.
Hello! It’s August! June blew by, and July was right on her heels, and I’m hoping to catch a glimpse of August before he hurries off too.
New months mean that I start a new section in my journal – the one I don’t share with anyone, and it’s always exciting to look ahead and dream in private about what I might accomplish with all the newness of a fresh month.
I celebrate new months, and new years of course. I celebrate revolutions around the sun, not necessarily with a big birthday bash, but at least a little to myself. I also celebrate the anniversary of getting a second chance after my big accident, the anniversary of getting married – my best and luckiest decision.
Isn’t it weird that I don’t celebrate every single new day?
One of my favorite John Muir quotes is one that you don’t hear very often. The mountains aren’t calling in this one, and nothing is attached to everything else. I’m not even sure it’s a real quote. Google can’t find it. T shared it with me one day, and I was so enamored that I wrote it down.
“Get up! Get up! Today is the first day of creation! It all begins anew!”
I’m not sure if I care if it’s a real John Muir quote. After all, today is the first day of creation! It all begins anew!
I am irrationally enamored with the popular portrayal of the #vanlife movement, a whole subculture of people who have turned their backs on the idea of needing a big house, a yard, and a picket fence in favor of houses on wheels. A growing number of friends live contentedly-enough in their vans, trading space for the freedom to move about, and finding the best each season has to offer in different parts of the country. Even though I know that the life that happens beyond the edges of an Instagram photo isn’t always so rosy, a real part of me longs to join them. But not yet.
A demanding, more than 40 hour/week job, even if full-time remote, sucks up too much time. We own a house that actually makes us money, that we love, in a place that we love. And yet this dream lingers. I mean, look at the promise of this amazing self-driving, fully electric, AWD beauty! Perhaps when she comes online in 2022 I’ll be ready for van life.
I love that once a year the concerned citizenry in our region puts out a public notice asking everyone to slow down for the butterflies. I think this would happen anywhere, in any community, because who isn’t saddened by piles of broken butterfly wings beside the road, but I’m glad that it happens here. I’m glad that people realized that when vehicles slow down to 25 mph, most butterflies are harmlessly swept up over the cars rather than being smashed, and that they take the time to patiently share that knowledge with the rest of us.
A few months ago, T and I made a decision to trade a little extra income that we didn’t really need for a significant increase in quality of life. This meant that T went to part time, doing a little freelance work, and managing the household. What this meant to me is that sometimes now, even on work days amidst deadlines and meeting prep, a plate of carefully crafted french toast (or pancakes) garnished with fresh fruit and topped with real maple syrup suddenly, even magically, appears at my side in the mornings.
There are many other changes in our lives as a result of this decision. We have more time for exercise, for relaxation, for the outdoor adventures that we love, and also, french toast. I am so grateful for morning french toast magic!
The trees outside my window are so happy for the recent rains and warm weather it’s hard not to share their joy, even though they are torturing me with gouts of bright yellow pollen that make my eyes itch and my nose run. I love this marker of the changing seasons anyway. In past years, the pollen has gotten so thick that you can see it billowing on the air, great golden clouds shimmering in the sun. These trees are in the business of making more trees. Even better is when it rains – a short reprieve from allergies and then rain puddles all lined with yellow.
I’m not sure what a 100 Grateful Words really looks like when its typed out onto a page, but I was inspired by the 100 Naked Words … is it called a publication?… on Medium, and I thought I’d give it a try. That’s part of the beauty of the internet, isn’t it? I’m so grateful to have such an easy way to connect with interesting and creative people from all walks of life and to be inspired by the things that they write, draw, paint, photograph, do and think. Thanks especially to 100 Naked Words for this inspiration. I hope I’ll be able to keep it up.