Some times, life shifts quickly. Last week, my child was away on a week-long field trip with his school. He had been excited to go, the trip was to one of his favorite camps, one he had been to twice before to study coastal biology. On the second day, just as I had begun to settle in to the quiet of the house, the phone rang.
The call was to let me know my child had run a fever, there had been a bug, another kid had gone home the day before. I needed to find a way to pick him up.
Once avid travelers, the break down of my car last year put a halt to all leisure travel. Without a car, the four-hour trip seemed daunting. I was lucky, a friend was able to take me that evening.
Luckily, the rain that had been with us already for several days broke just as we left the city, and didn’t start up again until my friend dropped us off at home half past midnight.
The clear starry night was a blessing, making the windy roads up and down, up and down, the mountain manageable, with only wisps of fog.
I knew the trees on these roads, I had passed under their branches many times as a kid. During the summer, on visits with our grandparents, my brother and sister and I would travel in the back of the VW station wagon while we crossed over the mountain on the 17 all the way to Santa Cruz.
Those trees had seen many generations of my family. I told my son the trees were now watching over him.
My five day retreat was instead five days of making tea, throwing together chicken soup, and sleepless nights checking temperatures.
Moments like these, I am once again reminded to be in the present, giving gratitude, and remembering to stop and pay attention to what is going on presently in life.
In the background, I hear the talks of budgets and economies, I hear the insults and fantasies designed to rile up the dust so we won’t pay attention to the details of what brought on this economic meltdown all of us must now clean up, I hear about health care reform, and know how badly its needed – I want to speak up, many things I want to say because I see how deep this transformation really runs, this growing need to transform to the core, and rise to the occasion.
Yet, for now, I am bogged down in the details of the present moment, and change seems so far away at times.
I refocus, drawing my attention to the details right before my eyes.