Shortly after writing my previous post, I drafted another one, a long piece that was supposed to open that series of thematic posts that I wrote about. Then the situation I was writing about changed, and I wanted to go back and make some edits but time got away from me. Then I felt like the post was a little too emotional and naive anyway and maybe not worth publishing. Then I changed my mind. Then my laptop died and, with no backup (yes, I know, I know), so did the post. So there you have it. Lessons learned: A) Publish your posts immediately after writing them, before you begin to have second thoughts; and B) Back up your data, people! (In case you’re wondering why I didn’t draft and save in WordPress, the answer is that I was writing at home and I don’t have internet access there.)
With no time for serious reflection and extensive writing, and two months since I last posted, a quick check-in is in order at the very least. Perhaps I’ll draft another long post this weekend and actually back it up to my brand-new external hard drive, although given that it’s been two weeks since I bought it and it’s still sitting on the shelf sealed in its shiny and colorful packaging, I am less than optimistic about the backing-up part.
- Spring is here. Green is everywhere, especially in the burned areas, which surprised me. Wildflowers are abundant. Just a little while ago, most of the trees were in bloom and the smell of lilacs filled the air. Dawn starts breaking by 4:30 am and the rising sun wakes us up at 6 if our sleep masks slip off during the night. Evenings are long, the sky a pale blue long after the sun has set behind the hills, and well-suited to walks around the farm where we are living, up on the rocky slopes or down by the creek.
- We’re meeting people. So many people! Or at least I am, as P. mostly stays home. Of course, it’s much harder for me to remember everyone’s names and faces than it is for each of our new acquaintances to remember just one new person (me), and occasionally someone will greet me by name at the grocery store or the recycling center or just walking down the street and I will stare at them blankly for a moment before they remind me of their name and how we know each other. Yesterday a lady walking into the clinic where P. is seeing a naturopathic physician remembered not only my name but also our dog’s name, while all I could manage was a cheerful and impersonal “Oh hi!” After thinking of literally every single person I’ve met here so far, I think it was the owner of a cute little boutique store in the building where I’m renting an office, but I’m still not 100% sure. (Lena, if by some chance you’re reading this and it was in fact you, please forgive me!)
- Speaking of names, mine is particularly difficult for people around here to pronounce. So much so that I’m now experimenting with giving people a shorter and hopefully easier to say version of my name when they get a baffled look on their face and a hint of panic in their eyes after I say my full name. Normally I don’t use my nickname with English-speaking folks because it is spelled the same as an English name that A) is a male name; and B) sounds different than my name when pronounced (confused yet?). Around here, the nickname seems easier to some; spelling my full name also tends to help although sometimes the letters have to be repeated twice. Back in Seattle, my foreign name was certainly not a common one but people were more used to unusual-sounding names and foreign accents. Well, if my name is impossible for people to say or remember, then I guess it makes me even more memorable since I am “that person with the really hard name whatever-it-was,” which is fine by me. No offense taken.
There are a lot of other things going on: new friends and old friends, groups, classes, medical stuff, home-buying stuff, sleeping outside in a tent, birds, animals, growing plants, meeting farmers, trips to Seattle, changes at work, etc. Some will have to wait until future posts and others will probably never get written about. Such is the nature of this blog, apparently. Some days I’m tired. Some days I’m sad. Some days everything goes right. Some days I feel like I’m getting a lot done, and some days I feel like there are not enough hours in the day. Most days, however, I have at least a few moments when I have a chance to step back a little and simply watch, observe, and absorb, and it is during those moments that I am filled with a sense of wonderment, a feeling that life is full and interesting and there is no need to categorize everything that’s happening as good or bad because it just is, and that alone is enough to make it worthwhile.