Monsoon Season in a Temperate Rain Forest

I am not in the mood for this rain this morning.  Not in the least.  I need a crisp fall day with crystalline blue skies and the occasional orange leaf wafting past my window while I write.

Photo by Nick Nice on Unsplash

I have two deadlines for two major projects that have already gone by.  I asked for and received an extension on both, but now it’s do or die time.  I do not need to be drowsy and in fear of my power going out.

I’ve never lived anywhere where it rained like this.  Not even in Hawaii in the rainy season.  I call these the monsoon seasons and we have two of them – one in the spring and one in fall.  However, this past spring, they never ended.  It’s just been one very wet summer.  I am weary of rain.

West Virginia is a temperate rainforest.  Really.  I looked it up once and Seattle has nothing on us for rainy days.  It’s just that we concentrate our rain and have deluges.  I had a girlfriend visiting from San Francisco one time during one of our downpours.  She was both amazed and terrified.  She kept saying different things in the vein of, “If this was California we would be ordered to shelter in place.”  Here?  Life just goes on unless it floods.  I surely hope Ian doesn’t treat us to floods.  We’ve had more than our fair share.

When we moved to West Virginia the first time, I lived on the third floor of an old Southside Huntington brick.  There were sloping ceilings and one set of windows near my bed that went from floor to ceiling.  I could lie on the bed, watch the rain, read, and dream my high school dreams.  It was lovely. 

As the years went by, it became less and less lovely.  We transferred to Wisconsin where monsoons don’t happen and there is an abundance of sunny days, albeit often cold.  Very cold.  Blue skies in the winter guaranteed subzero temperatures.  It had to warm up to snow.

We transferred back here and moved into the barn with its tin roof.  Oh, how glorious, rain on a tin roof is!  My family room is still under a tin roof – I negotiated with the insurance agent who made us get a real roof if we wanted coverage.  So, I still get that roar of rain in this room.  The room where I write.  The room where I have to, have to, have to be productive today.

The sound is hypnotic, and I want nothing more than to curl up on the sofa with the puppies, a cup of coffee, and a good book.  But I procrastinated myself into this situation and I must muscle my way out of it.  By the sounds of it, it will still be raining after I’m finished.  I’ll get cuddle time, yet which is good.  I’m in sore need of downtime.

The Path

Artist Unknown — please let me know if you know

The stone path to the door in the tree is made up of stones too big to be called cobblestones.  They are worn and broken in spots – the path was either once well used or has been abandoned for years.  I can’t tell which.

The doorway calls to me.  Has always called to me.  I’m quite certain happiness and contentment lie behind it.  I think it is the Tree of Life.

I’ve been trying to get there for years.

Sometimes the heels of my shoes are too high and I can’t negotiate the stone path. Other times, the atmosphere on the way to the door is too foreboding.  To inaccessible.  Too dark.  Too far out of my way.  Too something.

I am determined now to go through. I have kicked off my heels and stride barefoot through the forest. Vulnerable and a little bit afraid.

Most likely, the door will be hard to open. I think the hinges might groan.  Might be rusted shut.  I don’t think many people actually make it through that doorway. Not these days.  The times are too — something.  I’m supposed to be a wordsmith.  I should be able to summon the right word. I can’t find it.  Maybe unsettled.  Complicated.  Perilous.  Insane.

If I get through….no…when I get through, I will paint the door red.  In opposition to the Rolling Stones. 

There is too much black already.

I am so weary. 

Once on the other side, I think if I stand in the doorway and look out, the forest will be sun-dappled and green.  The path is welcoming and not perilous.  The tree may bear apples.  Bright red and juicy.  Plenty for me. Plenty for others.

I think once the journey is over, I may forget how arduous it was. 

That might be a blessing.  Reality, which has been far too much with me, tells me that is not likely. 

It wasn’t easier with sturdy shoes.  But approaching the door naked and with reverence seems the right thing to do now.

I have stripped myself of that which might hold me back.  That may keep me from feeling all the feels.  I am vulnerable, but I am strong.

I will stride as much as possible across those worn, broken rocks through the dark, dreary forest.

I am tired of the dark.  Tired of dreary.

I am tired.

It’s now or never.  This crosses my mind a lot.  I don’t have a lot of years left.  I have spent my life, it seems, in a perpetual state of stress.  I can’t remember not being stressed. Not since I was 10.  Fifty-three years of stress can kill you.  Sap your will to live.

I haven’t lost that.  I am not defeated.  I am determined.

A second wind has energized me.  Or maybe a third wind.  Hundredth wind? 

I’ve been at this for a long time.

What’s on the other side of the door?

I try to imagine it.

A cozy room with a narrow quilted bed, reading chair, and books?

Another doorway to a sunlit meadow brimming with flora and fauna. Ripe apples?  Mine for the picking?

Nothing?  Everything. Mindfulness instead of mindless existence.

I am weary of trying to reach that door and failing.

I don’t think I’ve been trying in the right ways.  Tried tackling the path with someone or more than one someone by my side. 

Nope.

Tried it alone but was fortified for battle and obstacle.  Provisions, hiking books, walking stick, pith helmet. Camera to document the journey.

Nope.

Tried it tearful.  Tried it prayerful.  Tried it angry.

Now, no try, just do. 

Yoda is perhaps the greatest philosopher of all time.  Do or do not.  There is no try.

Maybe all of life is just a journey.  But that seems too despairing.  There has to be a point.  A destination.  A place of fulfillment and ease. 

Mustn’t there?

I intend to find out.

That door beckons.  Has always beckoned.  I will push it open.

Computer Woes and Whatnot

EmnyLou 012A couple of weeks ago I was sitting, minding my own business, at the laptop drinking coffee when Emmylou surprised me with a running leap into my lap.  It ended with coffee all over the keyboard.  I did all the things you’re supposed to do in such a situation to no avail.

The laptop keyboard refuses to work.  It’s had plenty of time to dry out.  The mouse and touchpad work fine, but no dice on the keyboard.

Sigh.

So, I bought a refurbished laptop with Windows 7 Pro on it, but that’s going back. The wifi wouldn’t work.  In a fit of desperation, I found an older model, but brand new laptop with Windows 7.  It arrived today.

I hate setting up computers.

Hate it.

Part of my job is tech support and I’m responsible for setting up new computers.  Right now, I have 10 laptops and 2 desktops waiting on me.  I didn’t need a disaster at home.

But I love Emmylou, I do I do.

No matter how many times I do it, there’s always a glitch, a problem, a snafu, a something.  Right now, the user interface for Facebook on the new laptop is unusable.

I’m disgruntled.

MarinedaddyIt’s been a lovely day, though.  Today is Veteran’s Day and I’ve been deep in thought about my dad’s Marine Corps experience as well as my own military brat upbringing.  I had my contractor out here to do a bunch of honey-dos that aren’t really honey-dos if you have to pay, but you know what I mean – just minor repairs to this and that.  Well, minor, except maybe for the roof.  Hoo boy, I don’t need bad news there.

I’m getting my mojo back.  It’s been a long two and half years, but I feel like I’m settling back into myself.  We’ll see.  I’m hopeful.

Emmylou

EmnyLou 012I am just as pleased as I can be. I have a Dachshund puppy.  Yeah, yeah, I know I said I wanted to wait until spring, but we all knew that wasn’t going to happen.

I searched Craigslist, the entire eastern seaboard and much of the Midwest , for a puppy to no avail. It wasn’t until my early morning, not enough coffee, attempt in which I misspelled Dachshund and found a female puppy about 40 miles down the road in Kentucky at a price I was willing to pay.

She’s a beauty. I had thought I wanted a red, smooth hair Dachshund.  What I have is a coal black, smooth hair Dachshund.  She’s black velvet and midnight giggles.  She’s just perfect.

I am so happy.

EmnyLou 040And so is Phoebe. So far Emmylou (she’s a blue, Kentucky girl) has played with Phoebe’s toys, eaten Phoebe’s food, monopolized Phoebe’s mom and pretty much made herself at home.  Phoebe is all smiles.  I suspected she needed a playmate and I was right.

Dachshunds are special creatures. Nothing snuggles like a Dachshund.  And they make these cute little sounds and they’re just so damn cute.  I very much have a case of puppy love.