To Old Friends

I always write to music … I may have mentioned that in the past.  Is there anything better than music to deliver a mood, carry us to greater heights, help us feel the blessings we’ve been bestowed, and yes, sadly feel the depth of our sorrow?  Not in my book, probably why there are few movies without music.

I’ve often fantasized about my readers being able to hear the music I write to.  And I’m sure it’s probably already in the works, future blogs will come with their own soundtracks, but at the same time, music is personal, so what I feel when I listen to a song may not be what my reader feels.

Tonight I wanted to select something that would help me write about the wonder I find on this earth … the Alice in Wonderland kind of wonder because that’s been on my mind lately.  I’ve spent some time sifting through my Itunes not really finding the right song, and have finally settled on the soundtrack from Chocolat by Rachel Portman, maybe because I adore most soundtracks as they reach right down into your heartstrings and invite you to offer back your own song, or maybe because the movie Chocolat offers up a supernatural breeze, inviting the viewer ever so slowly to follow along.  If you care to join my personal soundtrack, have a listen to Chocolat while you read.

These last two weeks I have been ever so cognizant of life’s mysteries, and the fact that the longer I live, the more interesting and magically complicated I find my life.  I feel a bit like Alice, that which should beisn’t … that which shouldn’t be is.  I marvel at my blessings, I mourn my losses, and I quietly dance with the universe to the music of my soul (Caravan on the soundtrack … oh my, great scene in the movie).

These last few weeks I have experienced the joy of old connections that might never have been possible had I not stumbled down that rabbit hole, and I’ve fought with the sorrow of losing someone far too early that I felt was a tree that would stand in my wonderland forest for many years.  I have danced at the celebration of our children, and cried for the loss of our children.  I’ve been turned upside down and inside out for about two weeks, and find myself ready to just lie in the grass for a while and watch the clouds drift by.

I reach out to Paul, Taylor and Marisa to join me cloud watching any time waiting for a glimpse of Carrie.  She’ll be there, of that I’m sure.

And Mike and Carol, so glad we all came together down that rabbit hole or wherever we managed to all connect again … a long and magical story of a number of characters, all of which have added their unique and amazing children and in some cases their children’s children, we have all created a story as lasting as Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known by his pen name Lewis Carroll.  May we add chapters for quite some time …

Celebrating John and Claire’s wedding, bringing so many of us old friends together along with their children and their children’s children … was truly a blessing.

Last week in Tahoe at the cabin, making Minnie’s risotto … I found myself climbing up out of the hole, a bit disoriented as to where I was … wasn’t it just yesterday I sat at her table as a young woman?

Aww, but life passes so quickly.  Cheers to those who have passed … cheers to us that still inhabit this earth … cheers to making the most of the time we have left, no matter how long that may be … cheers to connections that stand the test of time … and cheers to Minnie’s risotto.

Namaste my dear friends.

A special ps to my sweet man, Rick, I think we should dance in Alice’s Wonderland to Caravan.

Solitude

Solitude means many things to different people.  For me, Solitude feels like an old pal that pays me a surprise visit when I least expect it.  Solitude feels masculine to me, he’s aged and wise and comforting, and I do so enjoy his visits. He only comes to me in public places that I would not expect to be alone.  He never comes to me when I’m home or in my car.  He surprises me, tickles me and leaves me feeling so incredible and most importantly … calm.

I’m not sure I appreciated my solitude as much when I was younger, but the last ten years I’ve changed.  Being an only child, it probably is no great surprise that I would learn to love being alone.  But with that said, I love being with others as well, and what I am very cognizant of, is that Solitude feels that much better when you know you have loved ones to return to.

Some of my favorite places to find my buddy?  I’ve had a few…

A pool, I love swimming, so me alone in a pool is heaven. All the waves moving throughout the pool, whether they be waves I have created physically with my arms or through my chakras system, are mine.  It feels amazing to resonate alone with my energy splashing against the edges of the pool and back to me.  Solitude lets me float and play and dream, and many times figure out what’s ailing me, or what my next move needs to be.  Like a chess board, in life we’ve always got moves to figure out.

Another favorite, the BEACH … definitely one of my true loves.  I used to live on the coast, and when I first moved there, it was not unusual for me to be the only one on the beach.  Can you imagine?  In the four short years I lived there, that already began to change.  But while I was blessed with that treasure, I can’t tell you how many times I walked the shoreline, taking a break to lay down, using my coat as a pillow, and awakening some 30 minutes later to the sound of the waves and a peaceful soul, regardless of what my mood might have been when I stepped foot on the beach.  Solitude sidled up next to my side as I slept peacefully in the sand.

I miss the beach, and have yet to make the river that winds through the hills I live in, my friend, but I will in time.  It’s been a lack of time more than anything that has kept me from that.  (Well, that and maybe the fact that I’ve seen the bears scavenging for food on the other side of the river while I’ve been hiking, not really thinking a nap is the right thing?????)

I recently met Solitude in a brand new place, the train.  My new job (yeah, I know, I still haven’t told you guys about that) necessitates me traveling on the train to San Francisco once every few weeks.  I actually love the train, watching out the windows as the beautiful landscape passes by my window.  Sitting in the first car, I can hear the train’s horn as it sounds going through the populated areas.  It’s constant and muffled inside the cabin, and reminds me of the distant fog horns I heard living at the beach, which I also loved.  I find the sounds soothing, a marker of life moving forward, reminding others to stay safe and be well.

My grandfather spent his life working for the railroad.  My mom told me such sweet stories about him, and her memories being the daughter of a railroad man.  I never knew him, he passed long before I was born, but the way I feel on trains makes me know his blood definitely courses through my veins.

My train ride begins in Auburn at 6:30 a.m.  We are the first stop.  The train sits empty, quietly awaiting us first arrivals that will board in Auburn.  We are also the last stop of the day when we return at 6:30 p.m.  A full day, 12 hours later we pull sleepily back into the station.  The last 30 minutes of the ride are the most beautiful as we snake through the foothills.

Last week during the last 30 minutes, I looked up to realize I was the only one left in the train car.  My pal, Solitude, had surprised and delighted me once again.  The feeling is a bit hard to describe, even for one who loves words … but the best I can describe what I feel is that I breathe deep without even trying, I relax, I feel a little mischievous, I begin to fill the space even if that’s just in my mind, and I enjoy it for as long as it lasts. And when I must part with my pal, I feel like I’m walking on air.

Solitude and I rode through the hills together in my empty compartment until I bid him farewell as we pulled into Auburn.  I tipped my hat, told him not to be a stranger, and that I hoped to see him again soon.

I got my wish today, as I swam my last laps in our HOA pool before it closes this weekend for the winter.  There was only one other swimmer that left me alone for the last 20 minutes of my swim.  Once again, I was blessed to swim alone, and quietly say my goodbyes to the waves for another season, but hopefully not Solitude.

This weekend we join our beloved lifelong friends to celebrate the marriage of their son.  Contrasts in life, the importance of mixin’ it  up …. life is full of treasures.

Namaste