It’s hard to know where to begin. First off, let me say I had planned on at least one more post before reaching our destination – something along the lines of “Keep on Trekkin’, Baby!” – with humorous stories about our adventures and poodle foibles along the way, through the Great Plains, the Mid-West, Upper State New York and New England. But it never happened, and somehow we have trekked all the way here. Over 3,400 miles from Fountain Valley.
Being here has been unbelievable, surreal, a dream, beyond the beyond, nirvana, a little slice of heaven – you fill in the cliché. I wish I could think of a unique way to express it, but I am at a total loss. I knew it would be an amazing experience to be here, but these last two days have completely exceeded my expectations. Saturday Eric and I sat out by the pond in the afternoon sipping a beer, and enjoying the sounds, the smells, the visual beauty of the Cabot woods, and our little clearing, which is now our home. Eric pointed out how wonderful it is to be able to just take in the scents, sights and sounds of nature, rather than someone’s tri-tip roasting (not that there’s anything wrong with that!), the smoggy scent of car exhaust, or cigarette smoke wafting over the block wall. Not to mention the whish-whish of freeway sounds, the shriek of police sirens, honking horns, barking dogs, neighbors’ parties, kids squealing, jets flying over, etc. City sounds. Right now I am sitting in my lovely little writer’s cabin, listening to the whish of the wind in the trees, and robins and chickadees. There are robins’ nests over the red door of our house, and above my cabin door. The robins are a little spooked by our presence, as they had the place to themselves all spring, but they are getting used to us. I am hoping this little cabin, with it’s long legacy of creative energy, will loosen up my writer’s constipation. (And hopefully what flows out will not follow that metaphor to its end – no pun!)
When I was young and living in New England, I would take drives up the Wilbraham or Hampden mountain with my dog “Bounce,” to sit by streams or in meadows, to just “be.” I guess without my being aware of it, it was a kind of meditation. I needed it in regular doses, and sought it out. Even the drives themselves were relaxing. (There is no such thing as a relaxing drive in LA or Orange County.) Being here now, overwhelms me with how much I have missed this – just sitting on the edge of a pond and watching salamanders, frogs, tadpoles. Eric and I actually discovered a yet unidentified being in the pond. If you just glance, it looks like a tiny stick or piece of reed about two inches long, covered in moss, just drifting to the cadence of the water. But upon further observation, she actually crawled about with some sort of purpose, probably rooting out a meal from of the muck of the pond bottom. Some sort of pond bottom dweller. I named her “Nessie.”
Yesterday morning, for about one and half seconds, I saw my first deer at the Clearing. As I came into the living room to retrieve my phone, I looked out the window and thought, “One of these days I will look out to the pond and see a moose or a deer—” and there she was. I don’t know if I spooked her, or if it was something else she was bounding away from, but she leapt from the pond to the woods’ edge, and disappeared into the trees, in two shakes of a white-tailed deer’s tail. She was exquisite. I was breathless. Eric was out on his exercise walk, so I only had two poodles with whom to share my excitement. They had been napping at the time, so were not terribly impressed.
Here is what I have relearned in two days: just sitting is key. (I knew this, but forgot how to do it.) Hearing an owl, or a loon, listening to the woods, losing all awareness of time. Last night we sat at the edge of the pond amidst a literal cacophony of peeping frogs, punctuated by the low, rasping call of a bullfrog, here or there. They were completely unfazed by our presence. Their singing seemed to resonate around and through us, as if we were among the notes of the melody.
I have this ridiculous notion that if I stop worrying, stop ruminating, stop contemplating, stop figuring, stop THINKING – and just simply sit, I can stop time altogether. And we can live here forever.
Blogging in the Writer’s Cabin
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