I’ve been feeling myself slipping into a funk. Anxiety is high and though the center is holding, so much around me seems to be falling away. I get reminders all the time about impermanence. It both comforts and terrifies me. I feel like there is a pendulum swinging all the time and I am waiting for the wild swings to calm and lie quietly in the center. In the middle. In the here. In the now. I know better than to not reach out. This will have to do for today.
Roadtrips for me are like medicine, or at the very least, like vitamins. Hitting the road with a good book to listen to, my heart absolutely soars. Imagine my frustration on Monday, a long drive ahead of me, when my Android Auto app failed to connect in my car. I pull over a mile from home and fuss with it for 30 minutes until I can get my book to play over my car audio. No GPS though, so I’ll have to drive from memory rather than instruction.
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After what amounts to nearly three hours in my car, I finally arrive at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. At RNWR you have an option of an auto tour. You stay within the confines of your car and experience the wildlife with open windows and a good zoom lense. They suggest a single driving loop would take 45 minutes or so, I usually take twice that long.
There is a lot of wildlife and I hum along slowly eyeballing every silhoutte in the distance. Nutria, otters, eagles and hawks. Wrens, herons, swans, sparrows and deer. It’s a lovely day and as it nears the noon hour the sun peeks out and the light is stunning. Rounding the last curve on my second trip I spot a kestral “kiting” and for once I can get some good shots of this beautiful bird with wings out and a steely gaze toward the field. Ahhh bliss.
Of course I’ll make a third loop.
I pull down the gravel road past the kiosk and spot the American Bittern again in the reeds. In pattern and color they are made to blend well, but a slow, careful scan reveals movement and I spot him. I snap a few shots and then it happens. My camera shutter button stops working and my zoom lense alternates between its full and least extensions. Nothing in between. It’s happened before and it required repair, leaving me without a camera for three weeks. I try every troubleshooting fix I can find online but it’s the part that has failed. Again. Can you say lemon? I expected so much better from Nikon.
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I finish my book and begin another as I drive home. Wish You Were Here was fabulous. I found it engaging, provacative and surprising. About halfway through I was 98% certain I knew how the book would end. (Not the story, I knew that wouldn’t be neatly wrapped up, but I was sure of the book ending. And I was wrong. If you’ve read this book, message me. I have an alternate ending to run by you … I’m going to share it in an email to Jodi Picoult later)
I miss the mad dash of traffic on the way home. A small, good thing. When I arrive home, Kelly has stew simmering on the stove and the house smells great. Another small, good thing. I walk Yoda, then sit down to view my photos. I decide to upload them straight from One Drive to my blog to preserve the richness and clarity. WordPress has other ideas and gives me fits as I try to upload media.
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As I’m reviewing photos I get a pop-up on my computer saying I am running out of storage in my cloud account. What?? It doesn’t prevent me from looking but it is threatening a future problem if I try to sync more photos.
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I don’t know what to think today. I never know what column these things belong in.
Inevitable malfunctions ?
A sign that my life focus is off?
A nudge away from technology?
I open One Drive and click on the tab that says FREE UP SPACE. What comes up is a hundred videos I have stored. A hundred. I think how exhausted and frustrated I am in this moment. I have already had an earlier tantrum about how much I hate technology. But then I start clicking to find what I can delete. I find this instead:
I watch the American bittern in the pond by the barns at Nisqually, catching a little minnow.
I watch Yoda blazing a trail through the brush toward the river at Flaming Geyser park.
I watch my hike along the Mount Fremont trail at Mt Rainier on my very favorite day ever at the mountain.
I watch the sunrise from Sunrise.
I watch my family, back when the most important thing was each other, as we celebrated Christmas a few years ago.
I watch Gus getting a blow-dry and a comb-out. I watch him noodle around my Christmas ornaments on the table, and then sit squarely in the middle of my ink and paint and artwork on my desk.
I watch Gus drink water from my glass, chase a mouse toy around his scratching post and play with Natalie as he snuggled next to her on the couch.
I watch sunrise and listen to the birds at Three of Earth Farm.
I watch my parents answer questions about their lives and how they met.
I watch Dorothy in conversation with someone behind the veil of this reality, in the last week of her life.
I watch myself walking the trails at Mt Rainier, Mt St Helens, Noble Knob and Skyline Divide.
I go to bed late, but happy.
Bonnie Rae 18
It feels good to win.
It feels good to share it.
Thanks for being here 💚