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While I am absolutely a warm soul, contrary to appearances, I am rather shy. In living apart from a lot of civilization (neighbors, traffic, coffee shops), I find myself on a pendulum that swings between relishing my isolation and feeling lonesome. To try to find a balance, I go to our little market once a week and take myself to the city, thirty miles distant, once a week, with all the stoplights and fast food joints and cannabis shops and WalMarts anyone could possibly desire. After a few hours, I’ve had enough of bad drivers and long lines and billboards, and I head for home. As soon as I’m free of the city, I feel like I can breathe again and let down some guard that I didn’t even know I had put up. Truck and I cruise down I-25 or kick up dust on a dirt road going the back way, but either way, there is nothing but sky and space and brush, with the plains to the east and the mountains to the west, and always, the clouds.

Off the highway, it takes a few short minutes to plunge into the valley. When I hit the valley, I’m filled with the sense of being cradled by the earth, encased in its hills that still carry a lingering green and welcomed by the art of the clouds as they shift their positions behind the mountains. Turning into my little town, I’m slowed by the dips in the road and have to keep a weather eye for deer, particularly the doe and her twins who’ve been a constant presence this past summer. Here, we wave at each other when we pass, even though I have no idea who I’m waving at and neither do they. But as I take the few turns deeper into the woods, closer to the mountain, it’s like diving into a nest of comfort and quiet, peace and safety. I guess that’s what home is supposed to be.

Daily gratitudes:
Experimental sparkling water
Mysterious barks
My bed
Little Free Libraries
A lovely conversation with E-Bro

A few months back, I tried rebranding the blog. I understood why I tried it, but I’ve come to realize that it didn’t work. It just didn’t work for me. No matter where I am, I am exactly who I am — Seasweetie. I am always a work in progress (or road construction on a Colorado highway – the same thing). Earlier this year, I wrote to a friend that I thought I might be having a midlife crisis. Their response? ‘I’ve known you for 16 years and you’ve thought you were having a midlife crisis the whole time.’ That gave me pause. After much contemplation, I recognize that there is no midlife, because we never know how much time we’re blessed with on the swirling blue ball, and that any crisis is usually something we psych ourselves into.

I’ve long said that the only thing certain in this life is change. “Crisis” seems to emerge when we either don’t want to own our choices (or pretend they never happened) or won’t take the time to examine our lives with a modicum of peace on our shoulder, acknowledging our triumphs, our mistakes, the lies we’ve told ourselves, and the love that drives the life we’ve created for ourselves. Up here in the stillness of the Retreat, I’ve had time to sit with my choices as the sun rises to wake me and as dusk falls on pines, as I listen to the music of the creek at night and the birdsong in the morning. There’s a lot to think about. There’s no particular conclusion to reach. I’m just loving getting to recognize myself in this moment in time, all the while knowing that everything could change tomorrow. All I have is now. And the beautiful anticipation of the future.

What does the future look like for me? I only know a few things, a few plans. I know that the unpacking will continue, as everything in the house — including me — finds its place. I know I’m about to check something off my Bucket List in a few weeks. I know that I’m finding myself, my heart, my courage, my joy, my impishness, my sensuality, my nurturing soul, all of which feel like they’ve been somewhat MIA lately. I know that I still have my depression demon, and that sometimes I can’t quite keep it at bay, so today’s positive post, while sounding a bit Pollyanna-ish, doesn’t preclude the feelings that accompany a visit from that special breed of darkness. But that’s not today.

Today is about peace. And joy. And finding the write words.

Daily gratitudes: (It was BIG DAY for gratitudes!)
Not hitting the stag in the middle of the magic highway this morning.
Seeing A BEAUTIFUL ROUND BROWN BEAR by the side of the magic highway this morning.
Listening to MKL and K’s voices in my head telling me not to stop the truck to get out to get closer to said bear.
Seeing a small herd of antelope (my shamanic cohort) with babies in the dry field this morning.
Making plans for me, my truck, and my camera.
Nice words from someone I respect.
Kenny Chesney’s music.
My house hippo (pictured below).

Come follow me at http://www.writerinthepines.com.

Come visit me at http://www.writerinthepines.com and give a follow.

Today has been heartbreaking.

To the neighbors,

Thank you for putting and keeping the magical lights in your trees. I don’t even care that they’re not really in the trees — they look as if they are. When I first saw them, I felt like a child again, delighted with all the wonder and mystery of Christmas. I felt that same tonight, so happy that they were still there. I may have to find a way to get magic lights in my little apple tree in the front yard of the bungalow, so I can see them every day. A little sense of magic in your life every day is a very good thing.

#yearoflove

Dear World,

There are some days when I don’t interact with anyone, which leaves little room for love notes to humans, but that doesn’t mean that there is nothing to which to write a love note. Tonight, I write a love note to owls, and send it to them on the black wind.

To the Long-Eared Owl, glimpsed through changing aspen trees many September ago, in the woods somewhere outside of Crested Butte, on one of those journeys that shaped the years to come. To the baby Western Screech Owl, nestled in the corner of a porch, so still that I wasn’t sure it was real. To the Barn Owl in the Portland Zoo, whose ghost face leapt brightly from the shadows of a rough-hewn roof beam. To the Great Horned Owls who lived in the towering White Fir tree outside my pink cottage, who hooted to one another in my sad darkness, gently, until I learned their language and could hoot in response. Especially to the one who, one night as I made my way across the cold dead grass, swooped so low, so huge, so close to my head that I had to duck, that I could feel the draft from the beat of his wings. And finally, to the pair, as yet unseen, that speak softly outside my window on rare wee hours in the Bungalow. I hope that one day I can learn how to talk to them as well.

great horned owl

#yearoflove

Dear MKL,

I love that even when we’re both “off”, we can still have a wonderful time together. It was lovely to see you two days in a row, and I believe missing each other, while certainly not optimal, is proof that absence makes the heart grow fonder. All my love.

#yearoflove

(Because yesterday should have been No. 19 — calendars and I are apparently not simpatico.)

Dear Andrea,

Thank you for your friendship and your beauty. You’re one tough cookie, and I’m so happy that you’ve made a connection with someone who appreciates you for you. I know I certainly do

#yearoflove

Dear Annie,

You give the best hugs too.

xxx

#yearoflove

September 2021
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