It was a day for sunlight, one of few in a streak of cool rainy days. I went looking for an infusion - of yellow sun and leaves, of warm, blue skies, optimism, breath, whatever the forest had to offer, I needed it and would gladly gather it up.
We haven't seemed to gin up the energy to do what it takes to get the grandkids out camping. I'm daunted by what it would take, and it feels like a big push, looming larger than when we camped with our own kids. I have to admit, I'm slowing down. But Oregon is a camping paradise with so many possibilities near rivers and lakes, in forests and mountains, and by the ocean.
To walk with children is to slow down and see differently instead of the movie that plays in my head - you know, the thinking, projecting, dreaming, remembering, planning, spinning. Children are awake to the present moment, curious about things I no longer attend to or things I think I already know about....
Haruki Murakami wakes at 4am to write, without variation. Hemingway wrote as soon as it got light. Vonnegut started at 5:30am.... Since successful writers have set routines unique to them, there must be an optimal time for me as well....
I've been mulling over the ordinary things in life: my pen and paper, cold water, the tomato and eggplant. They transform as soon as I take notice, revealing something extraordinary.
The vast grassland stretched out into a perfect spring day. An eagle soared, a heron and egret fished. I needed nothing else from the world for just that moment.
Adaptation comes little by little, accepting what I must, embracing what I can, trying to not tip over. I can do this, I can do this. I have no choice.
Retirement isn't about stopping living; for me it was about choosing how I wanted to live my life, and where I wanted to live it.
I go from having a spring in my step to groaning as I rise from my chair, from sprawling happily on the floor with grandchildren, to waking at night in pain. But what if I look at what I CAN do instead of can't?