Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Simple Pleasures, A Baby, And Lost in Transit

Simple Pleasures, A Baby, And Lost in Transit
            Certainly, I’ve no need to complain about my life. Today is the sum total of all my choices.  I accept that.

            Yet, I like to complain now and then. Grumble brings a certain satisfaction. If only I had done this or that differently, I’m sure I would be rich, famous, beautiful, all the above, fill in the blank.  E-gads, of course, my life could have gone the other way; I’d be ugly, infamous, and living under the bridge in a cardboard box.

I also wouldn’t have my children, grandchildren, and second great-granddaughter, born this morning. All my friends would be strangers.

Maybe I wouldn’t live alone. But, maybe I wouldn’t know she with whom I am alone; would not know her well enough to love and respect her.

Well, that side-trip was fun. I have to do that now and again just to get myself back into balance.

Just this morning when we gathered for our early morning Qi Gong practice, Jim mentioned how satisfying it is to pull weeds. I thought I was alone in this particular universe of pleasures. So, see, perhaps we are not as alone as we think. There are now two known people in my world who enjoy ripping weeds out by the roots.

Must be others who  enjoy the satisfaction of a just mopped floor, making bread as a meditation, and ironing line-dried clothing.  I’ve learned to find pleasure in small measures. Don’t even think I find joy in every household chore—most I muscle through like a bulldozer.

Five of us begin each day with Qi Gong in my back yard, under the jacaranda tree, along with millions of Chinese in city parks. When we started, a few weeks ago, each movement had numerous steps, intricate, confusing and difficult. One day the movements became fluid. This simple morning gathering takes no more than fifteen minutes. But some days it lasts an hour. We pad the time with conversation, helps us fuel our day, keeps us connected.

Sunday about twenty of us from Rancho Esperanza and from the town of Etzatlan celebrated the Feast of Candelaria, which is actually today, February 2. We feasted. Tables over-laden with food. Met new neighbors. Stories. Laughter. Doesn’t get much better.

For a simple and refreshing, easy Taste of Mexico, add a spoonful of cinnamon to your coffee grounds or plunk a couple sticks of cinnamon into the pot while it perks, drips, or otherwise concocts your morning brew. For a more complex “taste”, add chopped mango and juice of a key lime to your favorite cheesecake recipe. With modifications, this has become my famous mango pie.

Tuesday Lani, Nancie, Carol and I made happy three potters in San Marcos, pottery we “need”. We lunched at Dona Mary’s on the highway (she makes the best tortillas).  Then we drove on to Magdalena, city of the opal mines, for exploration and adventure, a “girl-day”.  We gather all the women who are around and head out for a simple meal and/or to “see what we can see”, a new tradition for us.

Every road has rocks. Friends ask for my address and I suggest they stick with email. Don’t send me packages. I have good reason.

My son shipped my new computer over three weeks ago, from Seattle, via UPS. So far it has visited seven states, fourteen cities, has experienced two different severe weather detours and a box-size audit. This morning it crossed the border into Mexico where it is held up for “missing or incomplete documentation”. It looks like it will be released for delivery and I will pay taxes and duty on her—again. Missing documentation. Uh huh. Go figure.

I leave for Mazatlan Saturday, for my HS Class of ’63 reunion. I may return before my computer arrives. Maybe we’ll both be in Etzatlan for Carnival (Mardi Gras). If she gets here before me, I’ll dance in the street, festooned with beads.

I talk about being alone.  I misspeak. I am anything but alone. I am surrounded by people who like me, love me and care. Not for a minute do I forget. I live by myself in my little casita. But I am not alone. 

Wonder if I could arrange for little Kyla Marlene, my newest great-grandbaby, to come dance with me.  Not by UPS!

Sondra Ashton
Looking out my back door

February 2, 2017

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