You’ve heard of mind-numbing. How about mind gnawing?
Recently our son and his family relocated to a place just around the corner from us. Yay! We’re excited because it’ll make visiting with our granddaughter extremely convenient once she arrives in September.
Len and I got to help them with their move out/in process. If you’ve ever moved before, you know that event requires simultaneous spinning of several platters:
Change of address at the post office? Check!
Key duplication? Check!
New driver’s license to reflect new address? Check!
Update address with employers? Check!
Even though I’d written tasks down, a move still leaves things gnawing at the edges of one’s mind. My brain felt like the beaver-gnawed tree in the photo below! I kept thinking we’d forgotten something…
Well, I’ll be dammed (pun intended), there’s beaver activity along the Boise River!
One night I sat up bolt upright in bed and told Len, “Bicycles! I never saw the kids bicycles during the move! I think we forgot about them.”
Sure enough, their bicycles were still in the rack at their old location.
With the publication of The Business of Being: Soul Purpose In and Out of the Workplace just two weeks away, I’ve used the month of June to enjoy a much slower version of life before I hit the ground running:
July 11, San Diego, The Book Catapult
July 27, Boise, Rediscovered Books
Aug 12, Crystal Lake, IL, Veteran Acres Park
When I was in Joshua Tree, CA I saw this “hammock roundup” that five people can enjoy simultaneously.
On Eleuthera Island, the neighbors across the way enjoy a solo version of quietude.
And while we don’t have a hammock where we live, there’s a multitude of gentle choices. My three favorites are reading (dive headfirst into a book and don’t surface for a good, long while), restorative yoga, and walking the Boise River Greenbelt. We’re also just a stone’s throw from an arboretum, nature center, and park.
While walking through an airport during a longish layover, I realized that I was hungry. Stepping off the main walkway into a restaurant, I suddenly became discombobulated. Whoa—just look at that floor!
Click on the photo to enlarge
I’ve never had vertigo, but I think I came close to it walking on this flooring that has the optical illusion of being three dimensional. A female diner who was watching me tread lightly smilingly said, “Take baby steps; I had to.”
While waiting for my meal, I too started watching other people who entered to see if they had the same reaction as me. Sure enough, it only took moments, but other patrons—men and women, alike—began walking with caution too. The funny thing is, children who entered didn’t bat an eye!
When I was in Minneapolis to speak at ModernWell, I rode the Blue Line train and was mesmerized by the giant, bellows-looking contraption that I sat near.
A bit of research informed me that they are accordion diaphragms, and their purpose is to ensure passenger safety between railway cars.
Much like a giant playing the accordion (think Jack in the Beanstalk), the membranes gracefully push together and pull apart as the train rocks, sways, and rounds corners.
Further research revealed that back in the day (the early 1900s), the spaces between the cars on a freight train were often occupied by migrant workers or vagrants—many people referred to them as hobos—who were “riding the rails.” Tucking into these in-between spaces kept them out of sight from the police and train crew, but thousands of people were maimed or killed by this dangerous practice.
When I was a little girl, I was motivated by stars. I loved earning them in elementary school and by memorizing Bible verses in Sunday school. When I’d acquired a certain number of stars, they equated a larger prize.
When our son was little, he too was motivated by stars. He loved nothing more than the adrenaline rush of licking and sticking a star on the errand chart affixed to his bedroom door. An avid reader, once he’d earned a certain number of stars, they translated into a trip to the bookstore to select a book of his choice.
Imagine my delight when my mother-in-law made this star quilt for us!I love the colors that she chose, and I can’t even begin to imagine the number of painstaking hours it took to complete this gift.
This coming Friday I leave for Eleuthera Island in the Bahamas where I’m hosting a writing retreat. Each of us will be inspired and motivated by the turquoise water during the day, competing with a star-studded Bahamian night sky to write, Write, WRITE!
One of our daily walks includes the Baybrook Court Bridge that gets us from the north side of the Boise River to the south side, with ease. We never fail to stop, rest our foot on the railing, and take several minutes to appreciate the river as it meanders along, often carrying ducks and geese, and in the summer, rafts of people enjoying themselves.
You can tell from the worn spots in the paint that the bridge is well-loved. I hope that by the time I reach my expiration date I have lots of “worn spots” too. To me, it seems like a grand way of measuring one’s “loved-ness.”
“Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out, and you get loose in your joints and are very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real, you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.” —The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams