on the outdoors

My thoughts on “living well” have changed, significantly, over the course of the past year. I spent eight years here in California. I love California. I am at heart a sun soaked and sandy, three beers deep on the boardwalk, take me to a concert in Hollywood kind of girl. But I have learned this year that I am also, simultaneously, someone very different. I have adapted my life to a slower time table, a tick of a clock that tells no time, an afternoon next to a creek, an evening on the porch reading prose in the woods. I suppose, it could be no more than the matter of growing older. It could be that I am for the first time in what feels like my entire life, sans my childhood, at peace with myself, who I am and the choices I have made or am making. I hear no skeletons pounding down the doors of my many closets. They have all taken to more productive things to do, or perhaps also found a place to rest.

There is something both formidable and reassuring of being so far into the woods it seems unimaginable that somewhere else people wait in traffic, stand in lines, navigate their bodies through crowded streets. How did we all come to dwell in the same places? And how many of us have forgotten or never found out how much more there is, how much space there is to be had, how free the spirit can be in such a circumstance? This is a far cry from a new idea. It is only new for me. To sit near a river that runs so fast and strong the press of water would cave in my chest cavity is somehow calming, somehow transcendent. I have begun to wonder how we think at all without silence and stillness.

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