What do you know, here I am back at this blog again!
Life has been kind of insane lately. Things that I never expected to happen are happening. It’s scary, it’s painful, it’s raw, it’s real, it’s beautiful… and it’s totally Wild..
I always thought that someday I’d be the old woman of the canyon, stirring pots of soup and making pies in my beautiful wood stove oven, my kitty cats climbing on my shoulder. Drinking tea in my outdoor kitchen while I watched the sun rise through the mist. Gazing at those cliffs every day of my life, feeling like the luckiest lady in the world. Walking the same paths, noticing the same plants, seeing the same birds and lizards and bugs and skunks hopping and crawling and waddling around, and feeling so glad to see every little creature that shared the canyon with me.
But what was starting to happen there in the canyon is that I was feeling too lonely, and a little bit restless. Maybe it’s just a typical mid-life crisis. But for the past year, I’ve been fighting it. I’ve been trying so hard to make everything ok, and convince myself that if I could just love myself enough, maybe I could quit feeling like I needed to be around more people, and NEW people, singing and dancing and sitting around outdoor fires. Shopping at farmer’s markets. It might seem silly, but these are the things I felt like I was missing the most. But also, just being around little kids, and old people, and feeling like I was part of a larger community than just my family.
But, I tried as hard as I could. I really, really did. And I just couldn’t shake it.
So, to make a very long story short, I’ve ended up here, in this beautiful valley in Southern Oregon that is truly some kind of magical oasis. It’s just 16 miles from the border of Northern California, so it has the weather of California along with the fertility of the North West. When I walk the streets here, I see chestnut trees and blackberry vines, wild rose bushes, and acorns that are about 4 or 5 times the size of the ones in the canyon. There’s rosemary flourishing in so many yards, spilling over practically onto the sidewalks. There’s grape vines bearing really fat grapes that I can smell from many yards away.
I really, really love it here. It’s totally magical, but in a very different way than the enchanted canyon. I miss New Mexico hugely though. I miss the crazy blue of the skies, the feeling in the air, the weather there, the lay of the land and the very unique kind of wildness that that place has, where it’s really easy to feel like you’re in some kind of old Western movie. And of course, I miss the canyon.
I miss my enchanted kitchen and its perfect, curvy countertops that Wolf made with his own, beautiful hands. I miss the river and the cliffs, and my little dock patch, and the wild mustard and the tiny acorns we have there that are so much more flavorful. Really, I miss every little thing there so much. I miss my giant school bus closet with its ridiculous amount of clothes, I miss my solar refrigerator, I miss my knives and my wooden spoons and my 12 bins of fabric for the sewing projects I hardly ever seem to be able to make time for. I miss my Singer treadle that used to be Wolf’s grandmother’s. I miss the rocking chair that I sat at the table in the outdoor kitchen. I miss my darling kitty cats… sooo much.
And it kind of goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, how much I miss my family. It’s really hard to even go there in my mind without tears welling up in my eyes. Even in my happiest times here, already, at any point in time I could go to the park and bawl my eyes out at how hard it feels to be separated from them. It’s crazy to love and miss people so much, and yet to know that it really is better for all of us for me not to be there.
It’s just not right for me to be with people I love so much, and yet to feel the least bit ambivalent about being with them. It doesn’t honor them, and it doesn’t honor me. It’s really hard to deal with this. I want to have my cake, and eat it too, but life just doesn’t work like that. We have to make choices. And for every choice we make, there is a price. Sometimes the price just seems to difficult or high to pay. But what is the alternative?
More than anything, I don’t want to become the old, bitter, resentful woman of the canyon. Really, I can’t allow it. The canyon doesn’t deserve that, and neither do I, and neither do my most beloved ones. But I think it was seriously in danger of happening, if I stayed.
So here I am, taking the leap of faith. Of all the places in the world I could have gone, I picked this place because I trust Wolf so much. From all his years of traveling and performing in his Deep Ecology Medicine Shows, he felt strongly that this town I am in, Ashland, Oregon, was the place where I would feel most welcomed with open arms, and feel safe enough to be myself to my fullest– singing and dancing and finding my own way through my days. A place where people often leave things unlocked, where folks you talk to on the phone that you haven’t even met yet, call you “Love”. As in,”Thanks for calling, Love!” It is a place full of sweetness and kindness, open arms and open hearts. Singers, dancers, artists, and musicians. People that, even after only 5 days here, I am starting to feel really are my tribe.