Cabin Musings: The Complexity of the Simple

Courtesy of my daughter - C.J.
Courtesy of my daughter – C.J. (This is not my cabin.)

Life on a different plane, unfolding before my eyes, each day new, different, yet the same. The goodness, the every-day miraculous, the constant unfolding and refolding of life back upon itself. It is refreshing relief to notice the beauty in leaves, birds, blades of grass, berries and wildlife.

I was awakened to morning thunderstorms. The rarity of this does not escape me. Thunder booming, rattling the house, while I, safe under the covers, revisited the dreams I never remember. I went to sleep with a lost cat on my mind, told it returned in the morning. But what about our friend who’s missing? Will he return today, like the cat? Such thoughts peppering my fitful waking moments.

Ground saturated this rainy season, the greens even more vibrant than they were before. How is this possible? The experience of grace, everything I witness asks to be noticed, counted, remembered. Birds so small they rest on worn out dandelion stem, eating the seeds, redeeming the death of the yellow. Billowing clouds, urgently scooting across the sky, filling in the gaps of blue, like a magnetic pull.  I prefer these gray storm clouds. My love of rain (except while backpacking or camping, for this is most inconvenient) will never cease, the mystery of what may come, providing relief from the sun’s relentless tyranny of production.

Standing on the bank, watching logs freed from their strongholds, carried downstream to some strainer. Dirt-bike tracks all over the yard, in the muddy mess, courtesy of my youngest..meeting his need for the motorized. Water tinkling in the ditch, levels altering daily, depending upon hay production needs downstream. The red chairs, the plastic adirondack kind, purchased for twenty dollars. Constantly breaking, needing reparation, until they go to recycling. I don’t know if they like these in there, but it makes me feel better for the lousy purchase. These chairs, a siren call, perched on the river bank visible to the rafters and fisherpeople. An invitation to come and sit, take a load off, from the stress and strain of recreation.

My heart bursts at the sound of whoo whoo, knowing the owls are back, our Great Horned friends who entertain us when we play the game of spotting them. The horses and donkeys skirting our fence. The buck that never goes very far from the property. His velveted sprouts inching their way up and out.

A morning and afternoon spent on the deck, in another red chair, under the orange umbrella, reading fluffy fiction. The black goldendoodle by my side, heating up in the high altitude sun, cooling herself in the stream. Never far, challenging horses, following a trail of scents before realizing she can’t see me anymore. The dog that runs and hikes with her nose in the backs of my knees. Her heart broken when we aren’t around…when I’m not around.

The breathtakingly-adorned hummingbirds sniffing about, hovering just long enough for a brief glimpse. Terrifying me while clipping past my head in their seeming erratic pattern of flight. The shadows of the forest dancing across my seeking vision. Slowing down. Looking up. Witnessing the complexity of the most simple.

The good, the everyday, longs to be counted, noticed, celebrated. Daily lives etched with suffering, with pain, with broken expectations. Countered, tempered by pursuing and noticing beauty. The smile from a stranger, the way a mother loves her child, the perfect stem of a flower, full grocery stores, irrigation, air-conditioning, the rising and falling of the sun, strong coffee, kind words, naps, laughter, good conversation, delicious food.

That Joy, she can be so elusive, yet when I stop, slow down, feel and let go, she meets me. When I recognize and name the beauty, the gifts, she and Grace settle in and stay for awhile.

Eventually they will depart, but I’m convinced it’s not their fault.