Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Message from the Universe

Summer is ending and I am feeling wistful for what could have been. Looking back on a few meager Maine adventures and the week at sea, I’m a tad regretful that I worked so much over the past two months. As the sun rushes back to the horizon and the sunflowers stand tall and triumphant, the air has a brisk sense of crispness for the ripening of harvests and the beginning of foliage season.
The Great Pumpkin winner at the Alaska State Fair.
Grown entirely with hydroponics, the pumpkin weighed in at
1,231.5 pounds.  A tradition at the end of August in Alaska.
Instead of feeling rich with summer's bounty, I'm tattered, juggling and plate spinning on work projects. The retail job hired me part-time with benefits and increased my hours. I applied in the midst of the ACA controversy as the memories of the crippling costs of self-insurance in Alaska were painful. I don’t think that was a mistake to move to "permanent", but the tide is rushing with the consulting work as well.

There are three other concurrent projects on deck; good work with great people. Hours have become precious, scheduled, and dedicated to specific things: tasks, cooking, driving, and eating and sleeping. I was happily distracted to have two different houseguests who each came for day days for the third week of August, long-time friends who traveled long hours to get to Maine.

On a Sunday afternoon after the last guest had left, when I descended the stairs after stripping the beds, I missed the last step and sprained my ankle. Pain erupted; I heard something click. When the hubbub subsided and I R.I.C.E’d without relief, I headed off to the clinic. Nothing was broken, but the orders were clear. I couldn’t go to work at the retail job on Monday.
Photo from NASA.

I felt a cascade of relief wash over me and called in sick.  I made a long list of things that had been bugging me to get done, and the next morning I ensconced myself into a comfy chair with an ice pack, knocked out tasks, made a pinhole box viewer for the Eclipse, and a plan to meet a friend for an afternoon at the beach to watch it. In the afternoon on the rocky shore, the tide drifted out, I shared my shadow in the bottom of the box with my friend and a young mother and son. I bathed in the waning afternoon sun, taking nourishment in the sea air. It was a wonderful moment to be celebrating nature's power with other Americans.

In accidents like this, the message from the Universe is clear. Slow down. Pay attention. Use your support system (the railing). There’s plenty of time if you bring intention to each minute. It was a wake-up call, a reckoning, a realization that I'd like to dedicate more time to walking and nature and exploring new places. That will happen right after I wrap up short project #2...