The Last Day of 2010

Jeb dresses like a Jedi warrior in second-hand karate pants and a bathrobe, then takes his harmonica outside to play to the birds.

“They’re coming all around me, mom.  They like it.  Come see.  Come!”

To me, they don’t seem to be coming around more than usual, though he keeps the harmonica sucked in his mouth, pointing with hands at birds under distant trees or flying high above.  His eyebrows arch at me, silently saying “see” in affirming proof.

Both St. Francis and an orchestra conductor in one, he wanders out to the field, moving both hands in time to the sound of his inhales and exhales.  Barefoot in grass and mud, he shares his music with the trees and all of the earthly creatures.

Later I take Jeb to Rex’s house and get the last day of 2010 to myself.  In the afternoon two girlfriends I haven’t seen in a long while come over.  We drink Patron and lemon.  Eat kale salad and hazelnut crackers.  Bing cherries and dark chocolate.

One friend has tickets to the ‘gala’ fundraising event and a new black sequins dress.  My other friend will be enjoying a quiet meal with friends around the fire.  I haven’t decided how I’ll bring in the new year.  There are numerous options, the best of which has me leaning toward a night at home.

I wondered if I was simply losing gumption by settling in for a new year’s night alone.  But when I dipped into the outdoor bath, soaking in the hot water beneath the star sky, I knew that all was well with the crickets and I.

2011 Resolution #1:  learn more constellations.  Stars are an ancient navigational tool.  When in doubt, look up.

photo courtesy of nasaimages.org

Fresh from the bath, there was Lotus Garden body butter.  The softness of a pashmina shawl from Nepal.  I was tucked in beneath my mother’s cream colored afghan.  Bullfrogs sounded down by the stream.  Quiet.

After a whirlwind December tour of California, I was finally back home – landed.  After a full and challenging year, 2010 was coming to a close.  I felt complete.  Even ready for bed at 8:24pm.

No shoulds about it.  I climbed in.  Who says you have to stay up till midnight?  My body wanted rest.  And there’s a difference between rest and sleep.  Sleep can sometimes seek escape.  On the last day of 2010 I wasn’t trying to hide.  I simply wanted to transcend all concepts of what I was supposed to do.  Set the tone for 2011 and stay true to the moment.  And this moment called for rest.  Which I did, soundly.

And on this first day of 2011-  1/1/11 – here’s to waking up.

The Breeze at Dawn
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.

You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.

People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.

The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep

~ Rumi

photo by Jessica Dofflemyer - all rights reserved

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