Breathe…

Grateful Blog: Day 67: I got home from 13 hours of work today, in time to sort of make dinner and sort of relax and sort of have a few minutes to breathe. I’m a born and bred workaholic. 50 hours is ‘normal’ and this week, at 60 hours, won’t be unusual. I know I’m self-employed and supposed to be ‘in charge’ of my business but more often that not it’s in charge of me. So now I’m just hopping on the computer and checking my email at 11pm at night for the first time in the day. I think I’m supposed to answer some of it but honestly, I’m too tired. Just gotta Breathe…

But I got to thinking: Someday not too distant from now, the itch will hit like it does every year. It starts with the first warm days, a bit of a false spring, followed by 2 solid weeks of cold rain. The forecast will be bleak for a bit but by then it won’t matter. I’ll be like today, like every other ordinary Wednesday for just about everyone, getting up, going to work, trying to stay on top of it and trying to breathe. But I’ll pack the car. Fill it up with gas. Damn the price, who cares. I’ll start by heading east, then south, then further east, through the mountains and several high passes, down into the sagebrush country. I finally go around the northern tip of the range, drop down the old gravel road. Follow it for 40 or 50 miles. Stop to hear the red winged blackbird’s singing. Getting closer. Breathe…

I’ll be rolling down the highway, the spring desert blooming, the mountains beckoning in the distance with a rush of snowmelt flying down to make that dry, cracked sandy world come to life for a few months again before the unrelenting heat of summer puts an abrupt stop to it. But for that moment in time, the smell of sage, the tang of a sulfur hot spring I know, the warm wind on my wet hair, the smooth trail beneath my feet, I’ll be in heaven. There’ll be no work, no cell phone, no email, no Facebook and maybe even no blog. Yeah, it’ll be Wednesday but it won’t matter. All will be right with the world. The 12 hours days and 60 hour weeks will be too far to even see in the review mirror. My gaze will be up at the stars, down with the noisy creeks, along the ridges searching for bighorn sheep, out into the sagebrush looking for wild horses, and on the road to the future and what comes ‘Next’. And all that matters, will be enjoying the moment. Breathe…

It’s coming. I can feel it. It comes every year and right about this time. I’m so Grateful when it does. So, so Grateful. I’ve just got to hang on a little bit longer and Breathe….

Spring and the Red-Winged Blackbird…

Grateful Blog: Day 54: There are little signs of Spring all around. The snowdrops blooming, the air warming, and a this sense that the darkness of Winter is lifting. It’s still gray, gray, gray and rainy, rainy, rainy but…but it SEEMS brighter somehow.

For me though there are several distinct signs of Spring that I look forward to. One is the first bloom on a Camellia bush. It should be any day now. Another is what I heard the morning: The song of a Red-Winged Blackbird. Like all music, I can’t explain why it’s my favorite. It just is. There’s something in its throaty delivery, that ‘conk-la-ree!’ that ‘one second song starts with an abrupt note that turns into a musical trill.’ It reminds at once of hollowed out snags and brushy woodland margins as well as desert marshes. And it gets to me, the way Bob Dylan’s music get to me. Bob’s always been a bit of blackbird himself, come to think of it.

And it reminds of Spring. Spring when I was younger, and would get the call from the National Park Service to come back for another season. Spring when I would pack the car and drive across the West to get to the Utah desert and pull over to stop a minute, take in some amazing view, and inevitably hear the Red-Winged Blackbird singing those rolling, cackling notes, punctuating the suddenly warm air with promise of days ahead. Yeah. Spring and the Red-Winged Blackbird. The 2 go hand in hand, wing to wing, and that’s left to do is pack the car and go…