Yesterday I drove all day to get up to my family’s cabin in the high mountains. The journey was as easy as it could have been, and I arrived late afternoon instead of at dusk. But to say “easy” when talking about what I did — maybe I should have said it was less difficult than it might have been.
To maneuver a heavy machine at high speed through mazes of highways and byways, trying not to collide with any other machines carrying their tender human cargo, requires a huge amount of mental work, most of which seems to be unconscious, because I don’t feel it at the time. And the body, while sitting relatively immobile in a position some of the joints and sinews don’t appreciate, must still be poised to respond moment by moment to what information the eyes strain to get through the dirty windshield.
As soon as I walked through the door of the cabin I felt the extreme weariness of the effort, combined with the altitude that by itself makes everyone sleepy (8200 feet). I went to bed early and slept like a log of Lodgepole Pine.
This morning it’s blue skies I’m seeing as I sit on the deck, along with a blue dragonfly, a blue jay, and an occasional hummingbird. Chipmunks are chirping, and down below chain saws are roaring as men work to thin out some of the trees among the group of cabins, to lessen fire danger. The air is warm and soft, and will probably be about 30 degrees cooler than in the Central Valley that I drove through to get here.
I love just being in this mountain refuge, but since I started coming alone I usually have unrealistic goals for how I will use what seems from the lowlands like an extravagant amount of free time. This year I feel rather that Less is More; other than wanting to read and write in a more focused way for a few days, I don’t expect great feats. Of course I want to pay attention. Just now, as the sun and the saws draw the conifer essence into the air, I notice it becoming more aromatic. Now we’re talking easy!