Between a fog and a dream

Umm, what day is it again?

When you’ve been in hibernation long enough (46 days, to be exact), this is what happens. You wake up in the morning and sit there, your eyelids glued shut, your hair in spikes, for 5 whole minutes trying to figure out what day, what date it is. Every day is starting to look and feel exactly like yesterday, and the day before, and the day before… man!

Another 5 whole minutes passes by, and your head’s still engulfed in fog. You stumble over to your cellphone way over there at the opposite end of the room hoping this inanimate object can offer you some answers. You click it on and stare at the jumble of numbers for an eternity and then…

Your eyes (in spirals): What’s this? I can’t figure it out &^%!! Over to you, brain.

Your brain: Why’d you send it to me for? I have no freakin’ idea @#$!!

Your eyes: Well, swoosh ’em around a bit and see. You’re the smart one around here!

Your brain: Swoosh ’em around and see??! Are you stupid? It’s your job to see, not mine!

Your eyes: Well, okay, okay, you’re right, of course hmmph! But, but… isn’t it your job to swoosh stuff around and come up with an answer? Like you always do?

Your brain: Look, if you’re so smart, go figure it out yourself. Can’t you see I’m still asleep?! It isn’t even morning yet!

Contrary to this picture of living in a fog, staying at home and out of touch with the rest of mankind has had quite the opposite effect on me so far. Most mornings, I look forward to jumping out of bed, bright and early, and the prospect of yet another laid-back day of meditation, simple meals and pottering around the house in slow motion. It’s nice not to have to go anywhere or be anywhere. No rush, no obligations, nowhere to go, no one to meet. Ah, peace!

When I look out the window these days and see sunshine bathing the trees, puffy white clouds hanging from a clear blue sky, birds standing on a wire tweeting excitedly back and forth, my heart is unexpectedly filled with a mix of emotions – joy, relief and a bit of regret.

It’s strange. These sights, these sounds, they’ve always been there. Why haven’t I been noticing them? Dang, have I really been so consumed and swept up by the daily grind that I’ve become numb to so many of the beautiful things around me? And it’s only now, when everything’s quiet and nothing’s moving, that I’m beginning to notice the little things I’ve been taking for granted.

The sun’s still there. It’s good to know we can still count on it rising in the morning and warming up the earth, those clouds sailing across the sky, the earthy smell of that rain and the voices of the birds outside (I heard a new voice the other day – a long wavy screech – must be a new friend in the ‘hood). Just knowing these constants exist and are right where they’ve always been is a relief to me in these uncertain times.

And I’m thinking, if I were living in a house in the forest in California right now, I would throw open my doors and dance out into the crisp morning air to soak in the scent of the pine cones and look up to see the sun’s rays streaming down from between the leaves and branches of a giant 3,500 year-old sequoia.

Or if my house were perched on the edge of the Grand Canyon, I would fling my windows open to the call of a solitary bird winging its way, soaring, gliding, free diving effortlessly across the depths of the canyon, and be amazed by the silence and stillness afterwards. Hmmm.

Your ears: Hey, stop dreaming. That 6 o’clock alarm’s driving me nuts!

Your brain: Shush, be quiet! This is my dream of dreams!!