Sunday, December 02, 2012

Here Now

Note the new plates!
With the Mae Flower stuffed into a neighbor’s barn and my pick-up packed haphazardly with worldly goods, I left Second Chance Ranch on October 23rd. In the duration, I’ve been on the road, visiting loved ones, making new friends and exploring America. For myriad reasons, I’ve been unable to fully unpack my pick-up since that day. Living out of a suitcase, I grab things on an as-needed basis.

Yesterday - just five weeks and four days since making hard guesses at what I might need until spring - I finally discovered what I brought other than my ice cream maker and glitter boots. Mostly dresses, fancy shoes and lots of hangers, plus bags of dry beans, wheat and canned tomatoes; it’s like Beverly Hillbillies minus the oil riches.

Glitter boots, back on the farm
All this travel has allowed for ample time to ponder my life - its uniqueness, its riskiness, its loneliness and joys. There is so much that runs smoothly in my world and I’m certainly blessed with immense luck (“The Golden Horseshoe”) but it also includes nags of doubt and snags of fear - though entirely in my head, still quite real.

Truth is, I’m 47 and all I have is time and (potential) garlic.

Back in early October, Evelyn and I planted five rows of optimistic bulbs into the ground - another season, another lifetime ago, it seems. Back then, I was filthy every day, exhausted every night and living an inspired, albeit remote, life. Today, I am clean, well-rested, actively social and culturally engaged - a direct 180. I adore the duality of my life, although many find it hard to understand, particularly banks and anyone who needs my 'permanent' address. (I never thought that, "Where do you live?" would ever be such a stumper question.)

These days, I listen to sheriff helicopters not crop dusters. I switch my pick-up (locked, no keys inside) from curb to curb to avoid a ridiculous street sweeping ticket. I am still inspired by my vision but missing physical exertion. I am actively taking great comfort in the presence of beloved friends who make me giggle like a child and, of course, I am eating too much ‘holiday’ food.

The last 24 hours provide a telling snapshot of my current life:

I hopped on a freeway to attend sleepover with a beloved bunch of women I’ve known since girlhood, hosted by my dearest friend, Lisa. Under a drizzly Orange County sky, we ate Mexican food, drank wine, soaked in a hot tub, drank more wine and laughed into the night. This morning, we ate egg burritos, indulged in celebrity gossip, sang ‘California Dreamin’ and picked oranges from the backyard tree. Then we hugged goodbye, and hopped on our respective freeways after making additional concrete social plans. With decades of shared memories, such friendships feed my soul, reminding me why I am in Southern California for the winter; it's not just about avoiding blizzards, it's about recharging my social battery.

As I told my mother recently, “If I’ve learned anything this summer, it’s how to celebrate where you are and not pine for someplace else - a waste of time.”  I see this philosophy as an extension of the familiar song lyric, “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.” For god sakes, wherever you find yourself, be there

Nevertheless, when jogging along the beach these days, I see the Pacific Ocean, the Queen Mary, endless happy LBC faces...and rows and rows of perfectly ripe garlic.


alicia said...

such a wise woman you are. I always felt when we were younger you were not in my clutches, you were always off to somewhere, the next event so to speak. I admire you put that sensation to move to use in a constructive way. What is next I am afraid to ask. Perhaps it makes you the writer you are. You are amazing and quite the philosopher

Cindy Russell said...

You never cease to amaze me...your journey in life is never dull. You are the first friend I ever had and I am proud to know you. If your boots ever land in Colorado me. Would live to see you!

Cindy Russell said...

I mean I would love to see you! Of course, I'd live to see you too (Lord willing) :)

Heather Clisby said...

Wow, such incredible support from two women I have known for so much of my life! Relationships like these are what makes me the Bill Gates of Friendships - filthy rich!

Alicia - I will see you soon, once the madness of Xmas has passed.

Cindy - I hope to see you when I'm next in Colorado. Love you both!