This morning I wake at 4am in a different bed.
It is quiet here but for the ocean waves at the cliffs nearby. Rain drops trickle in the water lilies outside the window.
Yesterday I came home from work imagining the luxury of a 20 minute afternoon cat nap. Instead my street was flooded with water and I learned that my house had none. There’s a fear the water in my neighborhood may be contaminated. No one should drink from the tap.
Oh, the things we rely upon and often take for granted. Like clean, running water! Instead of slumber, I spent my afternoon packing. I was grateful that my friends had an empty house, as they were on a rare, one-night camping trip. I focused on my thankfulness that I had a haven available with hot running water, just down the road.
I packed light with hopes that all would be back to normal at my place within 24 hours. The mental list of all requirements flooding my mind in a muck.
Bring food for breakfast and a school lunch. Oh, I’m supposed to supply produce for Jeb’s contribution to the school’s farmer’s market. What are we bringing? He’s got that sleep over on Saturday…I’m supposed to call them back with a time. That cough of his isn’t going away. Do I make a doctor’s appointment? Ah, and the dentist. I’m supposed to call to reschedule teeth cleaning for both of us. That’s $100 each…when will we fit those into our schedule? Can I afford that right now? Teeth are important…gosh, I’m afraid he doesn’t floss enough…I’ll call them back…And that meeting I have with that potential new client…ok, that’s tomorrow. But now my timing’s all off because I’m not going to be home…should I cancel? What if the water is not back on by tomorrow? You know that neighbor said that he thinks the situation could take weeks to resolve. Where would we stay? And did I take that flower essence enough times today? It’s supposed to calm me and heal my ovary. Am I calm? I think I’m pretty calm despite these circumstances. I’m supposed to be practicing that Inner Smile meditation for my womb. Can I really dissolve this cyst? What’s it all about anyway? I can’t think about it now. But then when will I give it attention? Am I giving it enough focus? Too much? Can I handle all of this flux and still maintain the Archives? Can I still make it to yoga practice tomorrow? Ok, what time is it? I have to go pick up Jeb.
All of these thoughts pool and eddy into this mother head of mine as I unload gear from the car and walk it into my friends’ empty house. I am barefoot, moving through grass, when suddenly a sharp pain jolts all mental chatter. I lift my foot to see a metal screw dangling from my sole. Fairly bright and new – not rusty – I pull it from my foot and give thanks I’m near hot water. I doctor my injury (try to remember the last time I had a tetanus shot – I think 10 years ago before India. That’s pushing it, I know) and take a deep breath. I ponder this misstep. I rarely hurt myself. What’s going on? Maybe I’m just displaced and ruffled.
Well, that was yesterday. Now, it is a new day. Morning in low light with pen and paper. My foot is clean, dry and protected. I’m still here at the Archives. My friends’ house is so rural, there is no internet. I know at some point today I’ll find a way to get this post online. These rambling words sourced from the dark time before sunlight in a different house. A new locale.
Soon, I’ll be bagging lychee for the farmer’s market. Cleaning up traces of our overnight reprieve. Readying myself for another morning of practice at the yoga studio. Yes, I think I’ll make it.
I see that I can move through life with so many assumptions. Like something as elemental as access to running water. Then, suddenly, circumstance can turn things upside down. Nothing is guaranteed. In that free fall, I’m left to seek what’s most fundamental. Appreciation seeps for things like a bed to sleep in. The gift of a hot shower.
My little life curveball here, is temporary. I’ll have water again. This shut down can offer opportunity. A new way to start my day.
Pen and ink and different shadows. Distant waves sounding. Roosters crowing in the quiet. The trickle of water droplets falling from the roof.
Soaking in this magic hour, I do not know what this day will reveal. But I’m trusting that I can move through it – one breath at a time.