It is September, I have just returned from a wonderful but somewhat dizzying month-long trip to Europe, I'm putting on sweaters and scarves, and I am trying to enrich my life.
To sum up the trip: being in foreign places anchored by long histories marked with suffering and triumph, walking every day for a month straight on cobblestone, looking at art I've only read about or seen pictures of online, listening to languages I don't understand, reading The Age of Innocence on so many trains, jumping into the Mediterranean and letting the waves roll over my face, never spending more than a fifteen-minute-long shower's length of time apart from Eric, trying to absorb everything right into my marrow so I can feel like the experience was real.
Now, back home on the ranch, back at work where I'm attending webinars on fundraising techniques between teaching children how to ride horses and cooking meals for large groups of people, I'm thinking seriously about how to enrich my life. To accept that I cannot quit my job and just be a "writer" or an "artist." (I use quotations intentionally, and I'm trying to give up the idea that these are things you just suddenly become, rather than things you just are or aren't -- and if I'm not, then maybe I'll have to accept that, too.)
I signed up for an adult novice concert band. Last night I went to a church in a somewhat seedy neighbourhood and played the flute with other people for the first time in nine years. It was a humbling experience. As it turns out, I've forgotten how to count to four, and how to breathe.
I'm re-reading Ariel and trying to remember how to talk about poetry, with the help of Lizzie, who very much knows how. And I have big plans to clean out the office and to set aside two hours on Sunday nights to go into the room, close the door, and write. And, as I usually am when the weather turns cold, I'm thinking about winter crochet projects.
All of this to try to hedge the winter ennui that I know is coming. This year it took till August to shake it. Maybe this fall I can start by being more grateful for the life I do have.