I’ve been here, but I haven’t. In a deluge, my vision of this forested world went from technicolor to tin. I got lost on the very street I live on. But I am back. Not stronger. But back.
Here’s what happened:
The power around these parts skipped out on us for over a day. You think it’s fun to see the indoor lights flicker and fade? I’m not that kind of person. I need things to prop me up. Simple ingredients like coffee and cream. Toast. Nightlights. Dry socks. I may think I’m strong but I have adapted too well to this push-button world, thank you very much.
When the juice runs dry, I’m prone to freaking. I start believing in miracles. Even god. I should know better but I can be weak. So I reach for examples of strength. I got a glimpse of that today when recent guest Grace (who stayed with close friend Joe) sent about a hundred shots of the forest she recently snapped. I looked and looked and tried to align Grace’s vision with my own recollection.
It’s taken a while but I can see that while I tossed in bed (on those powerless nights), sweating against the cold, Grace and Joe were shrouded in comfort. We were only a wall apart.
While I salvaged what remained in a thawing fridge, they showed up each morning with an appetite to sate. And it was.
I looked for rabbits to pull out of hats and I think they were (surprisingly) OK with the lifestyle that remained.
They feasted on a forest drenched in rain. A forest so empty of rules and form that champagne was served among the titans. Copious amounts that was counted only when the sun finally came out to shine. When it was the coldest, the darkest, I imagined them huddling, even shivering. But now I think they had enough inner awareness to run naked in the rain and not feel a drop.
I looked at the photos Grace sent my way today and realized I remembered it all wrong. What I remember is no muffins in the morning. Wet paw prints on the carpet. Towels in need of cleaning. Umbrellas and boots. Gear. And where the heck did those batteries go, anyway!
I looked again at the pics and realize Grace and Joe probably don’t even recall the almost two days without power. I bet they’re telling their friends all about it. How exciting it was. How the hot tub and hot showers weren’t missed. How they stayed in the redwoods during the brightest of winter storms. When the trails were theirs alone. With light enough to record good times. Good times I never saw, til today.
[all photos © Grace Havlak]