All I Want To Be Is A Simple Wooden Canoe
Silly childhood ditties often carry substantial wisdom. Consider “Row, row, row your boat”. On second thought, I’ll come back to that in a moment.
First I announced that I bought a finely maintained old-Mexican style casita in the little village of Etzatlan. Next thing you know, Kathy and Richard from Victoria, BC made inquiries about a neighboring casita. Then Crin, Kathy’s sister, began asking questions, eliciting more interest in a possible retirement in Etzatlan, a town with zero ex-pats.
Er, more like maybe seven of us total once my cousin and her husband and I take possession of our new homes. Etzatlan is a simple farm/ranch village like where I grew up, minus English language, not a tourist destination. I keep banging people over the head with that reminder.
Kathy said, “Isn’t this exciting. You go first and be the ice-breaker for us.”
“Kathy, I am tired of being an ice-breaker. All my life I am an ice-breaker. All I ever wanted is to be a simple canoe.” She doesn’t understand.
“Row, row, row your boat.” The wisdom is to row one’s own boat, not your spouse’s or sister’s or your best friend’s boat. Your boat. Keep your oars in your own boat, thank you very much. That’s a full time job.
One morning I told another friend about my pending move. “Wow. Sounds like you’re having quite the exciting adventure.” Translation: Are you out of your mind? Have you lost your last wing-nut? Are you crazy?” This person, a self-appointed Mazatlan gazette, could hardly wait to bust out my door and spread the news.
“Gently down the stream.” Gently, without bursting blood vessels or breaking a sweat. Down the stream, go with the flow, stay with the current, move in the direction indicated. Don’t fight life. We are not spawning salmon.
Two nights ago I overheard my neighbor telling his friends from Edmonton about my plans. “Wow,” one man said. “She is one gutsy woman!” (Truth: I am a coward.)
That same night Dorothy said to me, “You won’t be here next year when we come. What will we do? You are the only normal person we know in Mazatlan.” (Normal???)
“Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,” how else can one take those comments? Laugh? Cry? Run and hide? If many think I am crazy and Dorothy thinks I am normal, well, let’s just let the conclusion to that line of thought slide right into the stream of life and chuckle.
“Life is but a dream.” Some days I have no interpretation. Some days I feel like I am living an impossible dream. Other days I think it means we don’t need to burden our day with a heavy spirit. In other words, I haven’t a clue.
I say to my daughter, who knows me well, “So, two weeks ago I awake singing to myself Donna Fargo’s ’I’m the happiest girl in the whole USA.’ Next day, I own a house.
“This morning I wake up with Jo Stafford’s ‘Take me in your arms and never let me go, (with lots of ba-ba-ba-booms) and ending with come a little closer, make love to me.’ running through my head, start to finish, the whole thing, in her voice, like radio.
“Dee Dee, do you think I should be afraid?”
“Be afraid. Very afraid.”
A very small canoe, simple, unobtrusive, natural, cedar. Bobbing gently down a lazy southern stream, a shallow river, one that never freezes, never floods, overhung with willows and Spanish moss. Fishing pole in hand, worm on the hook, umbrella overhead. Iced tea and sandwich. Unnoticed. Is that too much to ask?
HDN: Looking out my back door
February 25, 2016