A few nights ago, I decided to forego my usual practice of bringing in the hummingbird feeders because of rain. Surely, I told myself, masked bandits would not risk falling to their deaths while attempting to slurp hummingbird nectar from a dangerously slippery railing. The next morning, all was well. The feeders survived the night.
The next night, my slothfulness allowed me to leave the feeders out again. And the following morning, it appeared the feeders had again remained untouched. But, while sitting outside, soaking in the warmth of the sun, I noticed one of the feeders seemed oddly tilted. And the feeders were unusually low on nectar. It was then the footprints betrayed what had happened. The beasts had succeeded in drinking most of the nectar without knocking the feeders to the ground. Bidirectional pollen-laden footprints on the deck’s top rail revealed the paths the raccoons had taken as they boldly sought out and drank the nectar intended for hummingbirds. And, so, a lesson repeated for me for the umpteenth time: take the damn feeders inside EVERY night or accept the fact that raccoons will empty them!
This morning’s sky is soft and grey, barely discernible pillows of clouds of the same color spread horizontally across the horizon. The temperature is refreshingly cool. The comfort of sitting outside, coupled with soothing bird songs and calls, causes a drop in my blood pressure. Except for pollen coating every square inch of the Earth as far as I can see, the day thus far is idyllic.
I am in no mood to shower and shave this morning and I may forego both. I stayed out of the mud yesterday, did not exert myself (and so did not sweat excessively), and went outdoors only to visit the post office and to take my recyclables to the transfer station. And to clean the garage a bit. And to blow the pollen and debris from trees from the deck. And a few other occasions. Well, at least I did not sweat excessively. I may shower, just in case I am not as pristine as I think. But it will wait. In the interim, I will sit and write and drink coffee and soak in the morning.
I have no idea how many times I have quoted the following words, but I know the number is significant:
is a stillness and a sanctuary
to which you can retreat at any time
and be yourself.
Those words cause me to consider that he was referring to a “place” inside one’s mind that is a peaceful refuge, a place where one’s original self, untouched by external influences, exists. It is a place where the question of “who am I, at my core” is answered. I still haven’t found that place, but I want desperately to find it and retreat there from time to time. Or, perhaps, forever. I wonder whether it is easier to be the person one is at his core or to be the person shaped by experiences and social pressures and expectations?
Some days I think I have exhausted my reserve of whatever it is that keeps me hopeful. Not today, but some days. Those are the days I feel like sleeping all day to keep negative thoughts from tormenting me. But negative thoughts intrude on my sleep, too, even when the hours before were perfectly fine. Last night, I awakened several times from a nondescript but negative dream, then went back to sleep and into the same dream. It was exhausting. At some point, the nondescript (and unremembered) dream dissipated and was replaced by another one. The other one took place on a deserted beach on the Gulf of Mexico. The only other “players” in the dream were another person, an unknown woman, and two horses. The horses ran into the surf and the woman chased after them. When they had reached a depth where only their heads were above water, they stopped. I was terrified the horses would drown and I was angry with the woman for chasing them. Bam! The dream either ended or my memory of it has disappeared. How did this thought morph from my periodic mental exhaustion to dreams about horses? Short circuits in my synapses, I guess.
It’s after 7:30, so I should get more coffee and feed myself and decide whether to shower and shave and get dressed for the day. One day, I will write something more interesting than the daily drivel I have been writing for the past year or so. Food, also known as natural magic, may fix it. Now or in the future.