Day 1 near Yosemite

July 22nd

So as I was driving down the 140 with a female peacock in the passenger seat, I was admiring the wooded mountains and the beauty of the Foothills. Yes you read that right. I picked up a female peacock in a dog carrier in Merced for Ruthie so her male peacock would have a companion to make him more homebound. He tends to wander off. This may make him more of a homebody. I had previously stopped to buy her 2 loaves of cranberry raisin bread with walnuts from the famous Acme Bread Company in Berkeley (yum!) that she was craving so desperately and was equally enthusiastic to pick up her peacock for her too. I even got used to the odor of peacock in the car after awhile. (smells a little bit like chicken…) They do have a distinctive odor. She was a fairly docile bird, flapping her wings as we bounced over potholes, but she did calm rather quickly at the sound of my voice. “Have a soothing tone when her feathers get ruffled,“ were my instructions, and I followed them along with slightly petting her through the holes of the light grey dog carrier she was kept in. Very soft feathers I must say. And she definitely had an attraction to male singers as opposed to female. She was consistently quiet when Paul Simon or Ray LaMontagne came on, but only seemed to give a 7 or 8 to Sarah McGloughlin. 🙂 Ziggy Marley kept her very peaceful especially… she must be a reggae peacock…. 🙂

So I arrived with peacock in tow to my friend Ruthie’s farm, somewhere near Yosemite off a freeway, a highway, a side dirt road leading to a barely two wheel-rutted path. She is out in the boonies. Along with her 3 horses, 2 goats, 2 roosters, upteen chickens, gaggles of geese, ducks and turkeys, 5 dogs, 18 cats and now 2 peacocks. It really is another world out here. Her horses are beautiful, white with copper colored paints, and very docile. Sugarplum, Sugarpine, and Acorn. Everywhere I looked, there was life. I saw animals in every nook and cranny. Out in the middle of nowhere, with a view of the Sierras off the front porch that could keep me in pure bliss. This farm house of hers is full of life.

I helped her patch a fence where the year old filly kept punching through – we were 2 Pioneer women! We took the dogs on a walk to the pond and sat and watched them jump and play in the water. The rooster continued to crow and the cats snuggled up to me and all felt right with the world. It was a much needed peace after the legal jungle I’ve been plowing through. A much needed respite. We even drove into town and saw “Horrible Bosses” and had a continuous belly laugh through that entire movie! What a contrast coming back into the modern world, but oh, it felt good to laugh! And here I sit once again in the quiet of the night writing, by hand, as I don’t have reception on my laptop… no wireless here. I’ll have to post later. And it is indeed quiet. The animals have all fallen asleep – even the roosters are silent, with an occasional goat bleat or cat playing with something heard in the distance. It really does feel like a little piece of heaven right now.

Until I write again….
Jo

One Year

July 21st

One year ago today, I was driving a 16 foot Penske truck up Interstate 5 moving half of my belongings north to the infamous Bay area. It really does seem like last month and it’s been a full year. I’ve completed my first year as a seminarian, learned my way around, lost a beloved pet, made new friends, and generally settled into a new life without expectations and receiving immense pleasure from all my experiences. I gained the Freshman 14 and am on my way to losing them again, 11 pounds to go. There’s a fitting synchronicity in the fact that it’s the 21st. 21 has always been my number, it’s my birthday number, and has always felt special. So to move up here and start a new life on the number 21 is extremely fortunate…. In my opinion.. for of course, what do numbers really mean – they are man-made and may not hold any special meaning in their own right. I choose to see some meaning in numbers however, as there have just been too many coincidences in my life with number relationships. So I see the excitement in birth on the 21st. Different month, different year, but the serendipity is there.

Ernest Hemingway was born this day, 112 years ago. His life has always fascinated me and I hope one day to write as well as he did. I write in the dead of night, as I’ve read he had a custom of doing, and it always feels comfortable to me – the quiet silence of night is quieter than any other time of day and seems to be the most peaceful and sacred time. I was born at 232 am and my mother always commented that I had my days and nights confused and it could be because of when my day began at the beginning of my life. I’ve never thought it was confused; this is when I come alive. I like staying up until 3 in the morning and sleeping till noon. It feels comfortable for me to do that. And it’s an opportunity to be alone and enjoy the world when others are not in it. Many a night I’ve sat and gazed at the stars and enjoyed the quiet. I’ve been blessed to be able to do that. I feel blessed today. Even through the grief of losing a beloved animal, through the craziness of having to evict my first tenant for non-payment of rent as a brand-new landlord, using up my savings in a way I didn’t expect, I still hold a sense of peace and blessings in my life. I see the phrase “opportunity meets preparation as luck” (or however that quote seemingly goes) as my Waterloo as a new landlady. I wasn’t as prepared as I ought to have been last year when I transitioned from down there to up here. There was so much I didn’t know about renting property and I’ve paid the price this summer on what I didn’t know last. However, I have felt the brick hit my head and learned my lesson well, so God up there, I got it. I’ve spent the last few weeks reading the Nolo Press books and learning what I need to learn as a landlord. And I see where I wasn’t prepared and the revelation translates to other parts of my life. There is a power in controlling our fate that we have when we prepare. Doing the footwork and taking the action creates a space for what we call “luck” to emerge. And it is as clear as a ringing bell to me now and I revel in the recognition of it! They say that things happen for a reason and it’s a wonderful benefit when we recognize that reason.

I’m enjoying every minute of my life. Granted, there are exasperating circumstances daily that try my patience that are only relieved with dark 70% chocolate wedges, but in the grand scheme of life, they are few and far between. The knowledge that I am on the right path is so strong and clear that it exhilarates me and I love that feeling of exhilaration! It’s about time I finally discovered what I’m supposed to be when I grow up…. It only took 50 years…. 🙂 I saw a news brief tonight on the evening news about Baby Boomers and their Second Acts and thought to myself, that’s what I’m doing. Rediscovering myself in the second half of life. And I’m really enjoying the second half much more than the first….. I just really miss the body I had in the first half…… 🙂

From my little piece of Mayberry night,
Jo