Two weeks away from phones, computers, and social obligations can be a time of productivity and room to try new things and time to just be. The first week went by easily. I never looked to my phone to see what was happening. I cooked. I laundered. I drew. I birded. I walked. I practiced my fiddle. There are new tunes in my fingers and sketches on my pad to prove I was productive. Time passed easily and I got a lot done. Around day ten I noticed I was having a hard time getting things done. I was staying in bed later. I was sitting and staring longer. I hadn’t drawn a plant. I hadn’t practiced my fiddle. The boys were cooking more. I had walked all the roads I could reach from our base camp.
What was going on? My mood was sour. I wanted to accomplish more but nothing was happening. I was in a malaise. One things was clear: I was reading. Reading has gone by the wayside for writing, birding, and social media-ing. I read three books in the back country. Most notably I read a sweet and moving novel called The Little Paris Bookshop. Nina George wrote this stunner. The book is superficially a fluffy chick-lt piece. It reflects on life and lost love. I was sucked in and my mood became melancholy. There were some painful and insightful parts about living in fear or living in love. I finished it and moved on to some manly Jim Harrison as a head clearer.
I couldn’t shake my sadness. I walked and sat and read. The boys worked on the casita and fed me. Then I remembered it was the one year anniversary of my mother’s death from Alzheimer’s disease. Her birthday was at the start of our trip and then I dreamt of her and finally I realized we’d reached the date of her death. I was extra sad that I couldn’t quite recall the exact date. I knew it was between the second, third, or fourth. I was sad because even though I had called my father in advance of leaving and reflected on the upcoming time, I wished I could call him again. I was surprised at the intensity of the loss and the yearning to be comforted and provide comfort to those people feeling the same loss.I’m saying this was good for me. I think I would have been able to push this sadness away if I had more to occupy my mind.
The day after I recognized what was bothering me my mood lifted. Consciously saying I miss my mom made it easier. And a day or two later it was time to head back into the world at large. And here I am.