Luck And Other Wintery Thoughts

A friend asks me, “How are you?” I say, “I am well thank you,” She says, “Of course you are.” “Your life is perfect.” “Perfect boyfriend, perfect house, get to ride your horse anytime you want, painting is your job.” “Of course you are great.” “You are lucky.”

As I go through my day I ponder my views on luck.

Winter is coming, here on San Juan Island. It is 7 in the morning and dark outside. The wind is howling and rain is pelting against the east facing windows. This is soothing to me. I can relax and give myself permission to sit down in the middle of the day and finish knitting that sweater. The garden is resting, it is too wet to ride and the studio is cold. I make soup and stew, cookies and zucchini bread. Finally, there is a need for a fire in the woodstove to keep the house warm. I have missed the fire in the center of this home.

I am a fan of weather. I hike the trails around Jackals lagoon and mount Finlayson almost every day. I notice the subtle differences. I love the days with the most intense winter weather. The ones where the trees are swaying so hard they look like dancers. Scary, exhilarating and dizzying to stand under. The roar of the wind makes me feel small. The farther I walk into the deep woods the more peaceful and protected I feel. It is usually just Griffin, my wolfhound, and me who venture out on such days. I like the solitude. It is cathartic; just my dog, the woods and me.

I have been noticing how some of the foliage on the great cedars turns ochre during the heat of summer. These fronds fly off in the wind and mingle with alizarin, raw sienna and burgundy leaves from big leaf maple, willow and alder. It looks like it is snowing colored glitter. The glitter falls and lays thick on the path below. When it rains, winding rivers are formed flowing down the hills, scraping away the layers of color to the black earth below. These black earth rivers are contrasted by yellow, umber, alizarin and gold.

After a big rain, droplets of water spill from wet foliage, as the sun streams in through the cathedral of monster cedars. Mist is rising in a thin veil as if illuminating an alternate world. I encounter a dad with his little girl in the woods today. She says, “there are lots of fairies in these woods.” I answer, “yes, there sure are.”

Is it luck or did I dream it up?

My schoolteachers told my parents that I would have done a lot better in school if I would stop daydreaming. Ha! Yes, I did spend most of my time imagining. I dreamed about the woods and the lake. I imagined myself galloping through the woods on a beautiful horse. I dreamed of gardens and deer and foxes, rabbits, dogs and cats. I fantasized about the house where I would live, surrounded by beautiful pastures and trees and animals. I conceived drawings and conjured paintings of my invented personal paradise. I shaped my future out of sand. I dreamed up this life that I am living.

A few years ago I was not happy. I lived in a desert and I wanted to come home. I felt stuck ankle deep in muck that was holding me in place. I had forgotten to imagine. I had forgotten to believe that when there is a will, there is a way. I started to dream again. My musing brought me home.

I am dining on homemade brothy, root vegetable soup, rich with tomato, cumin and a hint of coriander. Sharing a bottle of 2005 Syrah with a beautiful man who smells of pine pitch and chain saw. My kind of man. Is it luck or did I dream this up?

No. Not luck. I believe in dreaming. I believe in appreciating the small things, and I believe there are fairies that live in the woods.

 

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