I went over two months without a "real", i.e. indoor, shower this summer. To say living and working fifty miles from groceries, hardware, medical, and TV was "rustic" would be an understatement. For most of the time I had no phone service, no internet, no radio, no media to speak of.
It was great.
I got more in tune with the rhythms of the sun, moon, wind, rain, body, brain, emotions.
And I am exhausted. I did the work of a younger man, and pushed my brain to learn electricity, plumbing, propane, trenching, well operation, carpentry, sheetrock, check writing, and lots of patience.
One car died when an engine blew up. Another one died when it was "t-boned" in an intersection. The well house flooded. Megan struggled with a new job and the anxiety, fatigue, and overwhelm that goes with it. I have no money in the bank.
I missed my cat.
There were challenges.
But, I am glad to say, that I feel good, rather than beat.
Gracias a Dios, I am learning, slowly, to live, to surf on the storms that life serves up.
My heart is calm and grateful for the people in my life, for the chance to play with tools and to create a space that is full of life and beauty and potential. I hope it will be warm when the snow flies and that the house will be filled with stories that get written over the coming years. I want to share all of this with those I love, all the wonderful souls who have crossed my path in the last decades.
Some of them met for a celebration of house progress last Sunday. I was nervous about planning the gathering, but decided to go with a hunch. We would paint on the fresh drywall. I have never painted on fresh drywall, but that's what we would do.
I would have to do things I have never done before, like get the paint in Gallup, get brushes together, clean the construction mess before the party, get food and drink, and call people I have never called before.
All new, all scary, all unknown. Would the paints "work" on the wall? Would people think it was a stupid idea? Would nobody come or care? Would I fail, bomb, regret the whole thing?
I pressed ahead in spite of the nagging nabob voices and and just kept moving, following some new way of doing, being, learning. I really did not know what would happen, but I wanted to try, to see what would happen.
When I got the paints, I was terrified to try them on the wall. What if the water dissolved the paper and I had to redo all the sheet-rock? But I put some paint on a brush and voila! It worked. It went on nice and smooth and had its own way of working. But I had to find what that was by doing it, by contact with the brush, the paint, the wall, my vision.
I was tentative at first, then more bold, and finally, I was throwing paint all over the place.
Some of it was really bad, but some of it came out like something out a dream. I was living a vision I was born with but did not know I had until it showed up on that wall.
When friends came over, they joined in the fun, and we launched off into a shared creation, each doing his or her part.
Then, almost on cue, the sun shone through the window and hit the painting with its setting light.
Yikes! If I had any doubt that this was the right thing to do with my time, that sun sent it packing.
Yes, I want a real shower once on a while, but the gratitude of one after two months without is worth the wait.
Summer work on the house is done, but new work at about to begin.
I hope to keep learning, to keep finding the gifts that rain down on me, in every moment.
Gotta work it to find out what's there.