Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I can't think of a title. hmmmph.

I spent part of the day today with a lovely gentleman originally from New York City.  This man has had significant trauma in his life that involved a shooting and a robbery. This event took place 18 years ago.  He lives in a beautiful home in a beautiful Southern Vermont setting.  The sad part is that he doesn't leave his home.  The blinds were drawn....even though it was a beautiful sunny fall day.  His tables are littered with drugs of all kinds.  He had lots of nervous energy but he also has agoraphobia and post traumatic stress disorder.  He was very obviously bitter about his family life and prior friends, and very lonely.  He also had three dogs (gorgeous boxers) that he obviously loved very much because their photos are everywhere....but they are gone now.  He spends all day pacing between his rocking chair and his dining room chair, watching the stock market rise and fall.  He talked to me about some stock that he owns in an organic LED company.  He doesn't go down cellar by himself, in his own house.  He doesn't leave his house unless someone is with him.  Tropical Storm Irene fried his computer and TV, and he had dial=up anyway, so it was pretty much useless.  He had beautiful eyes, I could tell that at one time he as a very attractive man and I tried to see him through that light.
Imagine what it would be like to be affluent, well known, competent, protective, intellegent and capable at age 37, and then have it all ripped out from under you because someone needed something that you had, and decided to take it.  Imagine what it would be like to live as a zombie for several years afterwards as a medical team rebuilds your face.  Imagine what it would be like to have your significan other leave you when you are down and out.  Imagine what it would be like to be living as a prisoner in your own home at age 57.
He was kind, thankful, and pleased to have spent some time with my coworker and I, his eyes said thank you just as eloquently as his words did.  I left his home feeling so sad., but enriched to have met this lovely gentleman.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A moment on the mountain.

Yesterday morning I shuffled my 10 year old daughter onto the school bus and turned left instead of right at the bottom of the hill.  I traveled a mile or two towards a favorite hiking spot.  Why is it my favorite? I suppose because it's one that I can handle, and it doesn't kick my ass too badly.

By 8:30 i was sitting on Cascade Falls.  (After a one hour hike)  My feet were hot (I foolishly wore fleece socks in my boots) so I took off my boots and socks and placed them carefully next to me along with my pack and walking stick because I didn't want them to slide down the falls, or worse, have to chase them!  I pulled my knees to my chest so that the bottoms of my feet were touching the smooth cool rocks of the falls...and I felt the neatest tingly energizing feeling tickling it's way up my calves.  ENERGY! AT IT'S BEST!!!!!

So the entire time I'm hiking I'm thinking about a lot of stuff, lots of selfish, self serving stuff.  I am thinking about how nice it would be to have enough expendable income to go buy some moisture wicking clothes for hiking because I sweat a lot, and I'm always chilly and uncomfortable.  I'm thinking about a backpacking trip next summer, and what I might need to purchase for THAT adventure.  I'm thinking about how much I like the person that I am when i am out in the woods by myself.  I can think clearly, I'm functioning for myself, not for my two children, three stepchildren, husband, dogs, chickens, family, or coworkers.  It's all about me.  I'm hot, i stop and shed a layer.  I'm cold, I put on a coat.  I'm tird, I stop and rest.  I'm hungry or get the picture.  Perhaps it's because I'm at a time in my life when everyone is pulling on me and needing me from so many directions, that I value this solace so much.  This is a feeling I can't get walking around town, or up the dirt road next to my office building.  This is a feeling I really need to experience more often.

I get lost and caught up in the day to day of the family and the house and the job.  I'm sure a lot of us do.  I may come home from work in a fair-to-middlin' type of mood....and the moment that I see a piece of paper the puppy chewed up, sneakers and socks left in the living room from the night before, the empty chip bag next to my computer, the pair of pajama bottoms on the floor next to the coffee table, or the pile of dishes in the sink....I just feel defeated, sunken, and pissed off.  I realize it's unrealistic for me to expect to come home to anything different than this mess (see above list of creatures that I care for) but that doesn't make it any easier for me to deal with.  I just roll it into a ball, stuff it down inside, and hope it'll get better.  The need for that solace and my wound-tight personality...combine to make a perfect reason for me to hike more often.

I feel like this whole situation is going to have an affect on the lifestyle that my husband and I are working towards.  Homesteading, at ANY level, is hard freaking work.  Just adding 3 chickens to our backyard increased SOMEONE's chores.  (R and I share those)   My point is, I'm not sure if I have what it takes mentally or emotionally to have so much work ahead of me all of the time.  Maybe I'm wistfully longing for a life I used to have, my farm, my little ones, my friends.  Life is different now, and better in many ways.  Perhaps its not wise to try to recreate, but to create something unique and manageable.  Must factor in time for hiking!

I guess I sort of branched off there on a wacky tangent, but I needed to unload that stuff somewhere.  There you have it.