The heat is thick at the cabin today. A little thinner inside, tempered by the perpetual shade. But I prefer it out here. I don’t come here to spend time indoors. I can do that at home. I’m here for the clean air and, especially, the silence. The moaning refrigerator ruins the mood inside, so I’m sitting outside here, in the shade, on my little wooden deck.
Now when I say thick, you might think humid. Up here, though, the air is as dry as the soil and granite laying underneath it. There’s a teeny bit of water in the the creek behind me, but not enough to count. The drought in California is a very real and very visible thing here on the edge of both the desert and the Sierras. My well is still, thankfully, pushing water up the pipe, but the pressure has dropped immensely since I was here a month ago. The cold shower I took earlier to cool off was like standing under a weak water fountain. Enough to lather and rinse, but not enough to enjoy it.
Don’t go taking me the wrong way, though. I enjoy the heat, so long as I’m in the shade. The heat slows me down. Makes me walk slowly and think slowly. Things make more sense here in the heat. No point in wasting energy rushing to conclusions or stressing about things. Just go nice and slow and everything will be fine and dandy. Even the weak breeze feels better when I’m sitting still. I wouldn’t be happy being in the heat all the time. I know that for a fact after living in Phoenix for close to a decade. But taken in moderation the heat is a blessed little bit of medicine.
I’ve spent way too much time in my thoughts this past week or so. Being up here in my hot, dry canyon is giving me the chance to come to peace with it all. I had a forked moment just a few weeks ago. My life presented a fork in the road and I had to make a choice. Go one way and continue my journey as planned. Go another and change the rest of this year completely. My father is always telling me “You can only choose one road to walk down.” One direction to go. So I made my choice and started walking the road of change. Started getting excited about the new path ahead, the opportunities, the uniqueness of what was about to happen to me. But wouldn’t you know it, before I even hit my stride, I hit a road block. Not a dead end exactly, more like an under-construction sign on the road and the local transportation department wasn’t even sure they’d finish working on it. Budgetary issues they say.
“Well, aw hell. What the fuck am I gonna do now?” I asked myself. Not really feeling like getting a folding chair and setting myself up here to wait for construction to finish. Only one logical choice, then. Gotta walk back up the road. Back to that fork again and take the other side. Funny thing is, as I was walking back to the fork, I could see the other road winding along on the opposite side of the valley. I could see it’s meandering path and it gave me an opportunity to choose how, exactly, I would travel that road. “Lost a bit of time on this side of the fork” I thought. Might be best to take a plane, or better yet, a hot air balloon to skip a few of those twists and turns. Make up for lost time. Get out of the driver’s seat for a bit and enjoy the view out the window while someone else worries about where to stop for gas and what that strange sound coming from under the hood is.
I still believe in my father’s wisdom about only being able to choose one road. I prefer to walk with conviction in whatever direction I’m going and leave the “what if” thoughts for someone else to ponder. In this age of ever expanding constant construction and revitalization, however, there will be roadblocks and detours to contend with. Sometimes I’ve got to backtrack. Take the other road. The thing I’ve learned from this experience is to keep the conviction. Yeah, that road didn’t pan out, but it was the right choice at the moment I made it. Walking back is the right choice now. With head held high, sure in my decision, I might be able to glimpse the other road, the other choice, in the distance. New perspectives offer new insights and nothing in life is for naught. I arrive now, back at where I started, assured that it all played out exactly the way it was supposed to.
And now it’s time to plan some journeying . . .