Yesterday I had to read galleys for a romance novel coming out in April. I discovered I quite liked it–it’s kind of wild and not very well behaved and features a big strong woman and a hearty half-Maori New Zealander and it’s over the top with Diana images and wolves. The truth is, I hate reading galleys. It’s meant to be only proofreading, and I find it painful not to be able to do a little more fixing. Sometimes, it’s nice to discover the book is pretty solid. Like wild woman Desi and her wolves.
After I faxed my corrections, I walked in Ute Valley Park. It wasn’t something I particularly wanted to do, you understand. There are lots of times I am excited to get out and walk, but I was tired yesterday and didn’t want to, but I knew this storm was coming today and it would be too cold, so I forced myself, knowing it would be good to clear the cobwebs. Move my body. It was a good, hard hike. Treacherous footing in places, and I honestly didn’t start to enjoy it until about 15 minutes in. I was walking along with grumpy thoughts and noticing my aches and pains (a tight shoulder) and whining that I shouldn’t have eaten a half slice of pie, because what’s the point of being so dedicated at exercise if I just keep eating things like pie? and fretting about why my dog is skittish again and thinking about all that needs to be done for Christmas and how to manage a difficult relationship that keeps giving me a headache and doesn’t bring out the best in me, honestly, and what to do about this plot snag and —
And then, a magpie as big as duck flew across the path in front of me and landed on the branch of a stunted ponderosa pine. He was stunning, as magpies are, white and black and shiny blue, proud and somehow focused. He gave me a glance that seemed to say, "oh, lighten up, will ya?" and gestured with one big wing toward the astonishment around us.
Oh, yes. Quite a meadow, isn’t it? Snow melting in rivulets and rushing down the stream. I know coyotes live in the park because I’ve heard them on a hunt (chilling and primal) so I can imagine they’re sleeping in piles in dens I can’t see. There really are a lot of magpies around, and man, they really are beautiful creatures (this photo is not not mine, but a good shot of their splendor). Suddenly, it seemed warmer and my aches and pains were abating and headache is going away. Suddenly, I’m not worrying so much about books or thorny relationships or the fact that I still haven’t done the vacuuming, but just admiring the squishy mud and putting one foot in front of the other in an ancient rhythm. One foot, the other foot. Left right. Left right. Shoulders straighter. Head up.
I ended up walking for an hour and a half, each time taking the turn that would make the walk longer. Just walking, not anything hard (though there are some nicely treacherous moments on a couple of hills to provide focus). Last night, I dreamed of the MIP, all the little connections I haven’t been seeing, and the weather is providing a pleasant reason to skip anything out there and stay HERE to work.
Consider this your first reminder to take time for quiet this holiday season. Is there a particular walk you like to do? Or maybe you don’t walk but do something else to take a time out.
3 thoughts on “Wild mind”
I’ve been thinking about how lovely it is to drive by houses in the evenings and see the Christmas trees twinkling silently in the picture windows. It makes me feel very peaceful to imagine the coziness inside, although it might be a bit naive to think it’s cozy in every house, or even very many of them these days. But it goes so fast…
So, I decided one evening when it’s not too cold (and yes, it’s been unusually COLD here in Texas for the last week or so, and of course we are wimps–even this former Colorado girl!) my husband and I should get our coats, hats, and gloves on, and take a slow WALK through the neighborhood and check those trees out on foot. Imagine how even more peaceful that might feel.
We’ll see how it goes.
Go for that walk, Julie, it will be lovely. I’m enjoying my Christmas tree with its lights, though I’m starting to wish I lived in a place less crowded so I could take peaceful walks on these chilly evenings–especially since they lock up the parks here at dark.
Barbara, there’s something about nature that does make you feel like you should get over things. I guess because they live in the now. Thanks for the pic. Funny how the birds each country calls magpies look different all over the world.
Julie, that’s one of my favorite things, to go out at dusk and check out neighborhood window scenes. Family dinners, Christmas trees, all those glimpses of other lives.
Gabrielle, I would think you could get a very interesting view from your windows at times. What do other magpies look like?
Barbara, lazing into work mode this sunny morning