Early mornings on our Hughes Homestead property, I take the dogs for a nature lap, walking some portion of the perimeter of our twenty acres (which now excludes the cow pasture for the sanity of all animals involved). The scenery rarely changes, but I enjoy the grounding aspect and the fresh air that surrounds us. This morning was no different. As usually tends to happen, my mind started churning out ideas for improvements I’d like to make. A sunset pergola here, a grove of fruit trees there. A strong desire to create this perfect little haven, both for us and for future retreat guests.
What always starts as a way to connect with the land can quickly turn to overwhelm--so many ideas, so little time (and energy...and most importantly, money). As I walked along, morning sun shining warm on my face, I had a new thought bubble arise out of nowhere: whatever doesn’t happen in this lifetime can happen in the next. Now, I’ve never been one to lean on the idea of reincarnation. Recently, however, as I've been reading through letters my grandfather wrote in the 1940’s, I’m keenly aware that history repeats itself.
I’m feeling very connected to “Doc” Gibson right now. I’ve just finished typing up all 28 of the letters he wrote to my grandmother, Gladys, spanning 1933-1942. I’m realizing his goofy sense of humor is surfacing in my sobriety. I’m no longer shy about making a corny joke (although I should give my Dad a nod for imparting that behavior as well). Doc's flaring temper may also linger. I’m prone to fly off the handle, not at others necessarily, but with a silent, simmering rage that led me to drink. To quell said anger, Doc found boxing—I use kundalini and sitali breath.
The most inspiring trait I think I earned from Doc is his dreaming, scheming, entrepreneurial mind. He and my grandmother opened their own convenience store, but I’m not sure of the year. It’s one of the many parts of family history I wish I better understood, although it’s irrelevant now because the store was knocked down to make way for parking at Jerryworld.
Which brings me to the idea permeating my thoughts today: impermanence.
In the hundred or so steps on my walk that it took this idea to form (my mind races, so two minutes is all it takes for it to go from fruit trees to reincarnation), I began to hear the distant whirr of a helicopter. In our area, that usually just means one thing: life flight. In March, Ryan and I watched as a giant mechanical bird landed on highway 281 to assist the man Ryan had been keeping stable for forty-five minutes. More recently, we were encouraged by a neighbor to invest in the emergency life flight insurance offered for our rural area--a smart choice given the amount of power tools used around here.
I said a quick prayer for the scene unfolding somewhere, which brought my thoughts full circle. Somewhere, someone was possibly losing their chance to plant their fruit trees or raise goats. To host retreats to empower women. To hug their loved ones. To write their next book.
I don’t take anything about my life for granted these days. I may be full of ideas and it may seem like I'm going ninety-to-nothing most of the time, but I've learned acceptance of the finite energy (and possibly time) I have to achieve them. The waning moon in the sky shone down on me as I did a short, gentle yoga practice on the deck this morning, her shrinking size a reminder that her cycle is drawing to a close for the month. Oddly, for the first time in six weeks, a blog was desperate to be born today. But if that is all that springs forth in this space for another six weeks, it's okay. Nothing is guaranteed.