Thursday, February 12, 2015

Writing is Like Swiffering Away the Cob Webs

We purchased our current home thirteen years ago.  We live in an age restricted community, what they advertised as Active Adult.    I like living here.
Wow, I think that’s the first time I have admitted that.  Or I should say, the first time that I realized I actually do like living here.  I say that because I have spent the past almost all of those thirteen years wishing we lived somewhere else.  Or up until today, I thought that I wanted to live somewhere else.
Writing does that for me.   When I sit down to write, what I am actually doing is organizing my scattered thoughts so that I can communicate them clearly.   This mindfulness housekeeping that I occasionally feel the compulsion to do is like taking a Swiffer to the dusty unattended corners of my brain.  As I swipe, pushing away the cobwebs,  I may, now and again, find a hidden treasure.
Usually, almost always in fact, I start off  with a specific idea in mind, but then, I seem to end up going down an entirely different path.
For instance, like today.  I wanted, no, I thought I needed to blurt out and bluster about stuff.  Particularly the hard stuff.  Stuff that has been lurking and needling me for the whole of this so far miserable winter.
To explain my AhHa moment, the one where I came to the startling conclusion that I do like living where we live, I must provide a little background information.
We live on the main drag of the complex.  The den, which is where I write, is probably the reason we bought this particular home.  It has two large almost floor to almost ceiling windows which fill the room with plenty of natural light.  The view immediately out of the window is of the sidewalk and the street.
Although, my desk and computer face a wall and my back is to the window, the flutter of a cardinal-red wing or a glimpse of a slicker-yellow sleeve catches my eye and I  frequently find myself turning towards the window.
Just on the other side of the street is what I like to call “the pond”. It’s really a retention, (or is it detention?) basin.   Because it temporarily retains (or does it temporarily detain?) water, the pond can sometimes just be an empty field.  It is in constant flux.  When it is a pond, it attracts ducks, geese, gulls and sometimes even a heron.
The field is home to grazing deer.  There are two wild cats who live in the field.  One is Orange the other is Black.  Their fur is winter thick now.
Yesterday,  as I tried to snap the Orange’s picture, he scurried down the possum’s hole.  How interesting, I thought,  that a possum and a cat share such a space.
I wonder if possums hibernate.
Pines and maples and firs sit on the banks of the pond.    When I walk along the white fence which surrounds the area,  my ears perk up to the calls of jays, the caws of crows and the chirps of little brown wrens.
I like to take my camera when I wander over to the sometimes field, sometimes pond.  It’s quiet and quite peaceful there.   It’s where the sun spectacularly sets in the evening.
So, today, when I sat down to write my prickly piece about what it feels like to live in an age restricted, rule ridden, you can’t have bird feeders on your property community,  I noticed a red headed bird on the feeder (that we’re not supposed to have) just outside of my window.

  As I watched the bird chomping on a sunflower seed, I noticed the Black slinking across the street heading to the field/pond. Our neighbor, who walks with a limp, but always walks every day, no matter what, passed by in his yellow slicker.

Then the clouds began to break up.  Shards of sunlight shone through the ceiling to almost floor length windows brightening up what was supposed to have been a full day of grayness.
And that’s when I had my moment of Zen.