After what seemed an interminable winter, spring is finally here, with trees and shrubs leafing out everywhere, pollen yellowing the air and dusting the vehicles parked in my driveway. The temperature at night has been pleasant and during the day it has gone as high as the 80’s. Today it is a little overcast; rain is “likely” this evening. That is good because I put the tomato and pepper starts in the ground a couple of days back. I managed to plant lettuce, kale, and broccoli the week before. The rain is welcome.
I got up this morning determined to get something accomplished. I came over to the garden and checked the plants. They can go without my having to water them, as rain is forecast. I decided to rake leaves and put them on the compost pile. I got several piles of leaves dumped there. As I looked around at all that still needs doing, I became aware of something crawling up my leg. Ticks! The yearling ticks are out and I stirred them up raking leaves.
Taking refuge inside Pope’s cabin, I found duct tape and a mirror and stripped off my clothes in order to start eliminating them. I found some that had probably been on me for a couple of days, as they were embedded and difficult to pull off. After about an hour or more of being obsessed with killing ticks, I found some Vicks Vapor Rub and smeared it all over me, everywhere I could reach, that is. Feeling like I had gotten all of them, I dressed and decided I am done for the day at trying to accomplish much. I went and got my lap top and here I am, feeling like writing.
Last November my electrical system went on the blink and I could not use this lap top, which I prefer for writing rather than a pen and paper. I was gifted a good headlamp for Christmas which helped me see well enough to read into the night. Eventually I had the phone and internet bundle moved over to the other cabin (it has a state-of-the art solar powered electrical system) so that I could get online and do a bit of writing. Cold as it was, despite building a fire in the inefficient wood stove in Pope’s cabin, I could not spend much time on the computer. I did some journaling and when I look back at the little I wrote, I was in a very dark place, with or without electricity and the internet.
Because I could not be online in my own cabin where it was much warmer, I read a lot over winter. There are so many great books, and it was a super way to escape my own miserableness, reading until I fell asleep, and reading some more during the day, in between keeping the wood stove stoked, the animals fed, and my dishes washed. I remember feeling critical of old Pope when he was here because all he did was sit in his den and read, day in, day out, staying up all night sometimes, sleeping during the day. I understand him better now, given the way I turned to books to keep myself from wallowing in my desolation blues. (I doubt Pope had the blues. He simply loved to read, had an amazing library, and felt no need to do anything other than whatever he felt like doing.) Losing the electricity in my cabin was a good thing, after all; I rediscovered that I love to read.
The thing about reading others’ writing is that, in my case, it made me realize I am a long way from doing any exceptional writing! However, life has shown me that I must not compare myself to others. I may still get down to it, one of these days, and write the story/stories I have, even if nobody ever reads them.
My desire is to share whatever I write with my kids, who, as it turns out, do not relish reading. They prefer audio books and videos. Perhaps, if I actually do succeed in getting it done, they will come across my stuff after I am gone and decide to read it. I know, from my own experience, that I wish I had spent more time with my mother, listening to her talk, and that I had gotten to know my parents better before they were gone from my life. Recently I got to read a little of my mother’s journal from a period in her life that was full of change, the unknown, and her words resonated with me. She was so alone and bewildered by all that was happening. I think she and I had more in common than either of us ever knew.
The afternoon is passing; it is almost time to feed all the animals. I could use an afternoon coffee, which will inevitably keep me up until all hours, but hey! I have the freedom to stay up late, rise and shine early in the morning with very little sleep, and sit on my couch and read the rest of the day, waiting for the evening rain, especially since today I got some leaves raked and some ticks annihilated.