I feel it my duty to portrait this new beginning in my life. For me, new beginnings tend to be commonplace. Just today, while driving the 30-minutes it now takes to get home from work, I resonated with the song Run, Baby, Run by Sheryl Crow. I often press the reset button on my life–choosing new jobs, towns, and boyfriends. As well as new hobbies and even friends. My constants are family, close, dear friends, and the west coast. In the past year I have embraced single hood, a new position at work, a pet freshwater snail, personal refection and self-help (that’s when the therapist didn’t work out), writing connections and discipline (huge, and still need a lot of work in this area), as well as a new living space, on a lake, in the woods. So, actually I don’t think of it so much as running away, but rather chasing a dream.
Sometimes Always, when you are chasing a dream, something gets sacrificed along the way. Leaving my boyfriend was a sacrifice. But I have more self work to do. There wasn’t room for him. Sometimes, I think, to find sustainable happiness, or Joy if you will, a person must isolate, and face their mind, and quiet the many distractions of the world.
I fully understand that in one year or four months or, helk, maybe even four weeks I may come to realize that true joy is found in community. That my true path to bliss might have been better accomplished by letting love in. By allowing my, very loving, boyfriend to dote on me and secure me into his loving, healthy family. But my intuition tells me not. My intuition tells me I hold the key.
I told my most cherished co-worker one day, I said, “Mark my words, in six-months I’ll be living out in the country.” I was fed up. I needed a change. I’ve always regarded Nature as my mother. Living in town was just not working. Six weeks later I am sitting by Lake Moonglade, pointing out the reflection of the north star on the water to my new neighbor (and I suspect, friend) Ember, who lives down the creek and through the trees, just barely out of view in her quaint but charming, fifth-wheel trailer. As we sit on boulders by the lake at dusk we watch the north star in all her glory bathing in the sunset. We talk about the joys of solitude, the pains of relationships, we talk about addiction and revelation, politics, children, gardening, simple living, and nature, and for twenty minutes the north star remains lonesome in the sky, having arrived early to work, so-to-speak, like I like to do, to simply enjoy fifteen more minutes of solitude and clarity before the colorful energy of other people crash into me like a wave. And to ring in a new beginning with special blessings, perhaps.
Ember describes to me a trail she built down the gravel lane and up a brook, toward the south hills. She says she loves exploring, which I already knew as I’ve seen her walking the many paths that traverse our land, a rehabilitated logging site known as Star Camp. When she says she’s afraid of mountain lion, I suggest the old “mask trick”, something I’ve never actually tried (maybe I will here) where you wear a Halloween mask backwards to prevent a mountain lion from stalking you. Ember’s face lights up at the suggestion. I realize I’ve met a woman perhaps as passionate, curious, and strange as I am. We sit in silence for a few moments, staring out at Lake Moonglade. Three bats dance over the surface of the water, eating mosquito. A couple of birds (species I do not know yet) finish their supper (of bugs as well) and head back to their tree nests for the night. The multiple species of dragonfly have tuckered out for the night, but in the day they are abundant, showering the land with luck. Behind me a chipmunk scurries across the path, Ember points to it, then upon closer inspection corrects herself–it’s a field mouse, not a chipmunk. A frog hops into the lake. A band of bull frogs make deep, bass-like sounds from the edges of the lake. Discovering that neither of us like snakes, Ember shows me the rocky places where the big ones like to hang out in the day. Thank you, I tell her sincerely.
As the sun all but vanishes and the ombre sky lights up with stars, my new neighbor and I both daydream of picnics together in the grass, or tromping halfway to Walton on the many trails that intersect the hills and logging roads, machete’s in hand–all the while being secretly thankful that there’s enough room on this land for the both of us.