Whenever things seem too awful in the world and my shoulders are tight and almost up to my ears as if they were paralyzed in mid-shrug (and why is that anyway? Is this our human way of bowing up like a cat facing down an unwelcome intruder? Are we also trying to look bigger and more menacing when we feel weak and impotent and mad about it? Is this our internal incredible hulk?? “Don’t mess with ME man!! Watcha’ lookin’ at?!!” )
But I digress. So when life seems so harsh my mind goes not to battle but to retreat! I’m filled with a longing for a little house on the prairie. Or better yet, a cabin in the woods by a stream. Specifically along Guanella Pass in the Rockies in Colorado.
I’m sitting next to the creek, listening to its soothing warble over the rocks. The water is fast-flowing and so cold it will curl your toes – refreshing, cleansing. I’m nearly giddy with the shock of the icy liquid on my warm skin; it makes me laugh. (Sometimes at the end of a shower I slowly turn the hot water off – hot water is so serious – until only the cold is left and splashes me so vigorously I suck in my breath and then laugh out loud. Immediately I turn it off then because I am not crazy after all.)
Anyway, as I sit next to the creek’s edge with my toes dipping forward and back, I bask in three dimensions of glory as I first hear the aspen leaves rustling against the creek’s rushing; I look up to see the limbs swaying gently in the mountain breezes and feel them tickling my hair and gliding down my arms. Curiously in the middle of this a bright and steady stream of sunlight in focused beams shines overhead.
I make some coffee over the fire kindled earlier and now emerge to retrieve it and sit on the small porch of my little wood cabin. I nestle in to a comfy wicker chair cushioned and pillowed, with a light afghan lying alongside and pick up my book. Birds call, the wind blows, my coffee is smooth and hot and good. My heartbeat slows and after a bit I lay my cup aside and rest and await the stars.