Today was the turning point in a three-day wondering what is wrong with me event. Let’s just call it a funk. First it loomed, then it swarmed, and then landed. I knew it hit hard when I began looking all over the house for a secret stash of Halloween candy. No chocolate to be found, I made an extra pot or two of my favorite green tea and cleaned and straightened a closet. I finally figured it out when I went to my reading pile, took a fresh look at what I’d been consuming, and then I just had to laugh!
An NPR interview promoted A Thousand Lives, by Julia Scheeres, a cheery little book sharing the story of five Peoples Temple members who went to Jonestown. This week marks the 33rd anniversary of that horrible event. That’s certainly sobering.
Then, despite remembering how low I felt after reading Joan Didion’s 2005 autobiographical The Year of Magical Thinking—a hard-hitting chronicle outlining her grief and personal upheaval following her husband’s sudden death, I still purchased and began reading her newest release, Blue Nights, memories of her daughter Quintana’s life and death. You can see where this is going!
Finally, the trifecta of gloom, Walter Isaacson’s 600 page portrait of Steve Jobs. It’s a well-written and very good book, but be prepared for melancholy!
So I admit that I didn’t use the greatest wisdom in my literary lineup. But at least once I realized why I was so gloomy, it was up to me to chart another course! So today I focused on things that made me happy.
If it’s Tuesday it’s Sophia-Karina day! Two little girls who chatter almost non-stop and make me laugh at their funny observations provide an immediate mood boost. They are the proverbial counterweight to gloom!
We started the day watching the squirrels scamper up and down our redwood tree—the special tree birds brought to me years ago! I frequently think about how for years I had wanted a redwood, but couldn’t quite justify the expense of another tree. When I found the sapling hiding in some fern in our side yard I was sure that God hand-(or bird) delivered it as a special gift to me.
Later in the day we made a trip to the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden to feed the ducks and peacocks. We caught a sunny afternoon (always better for my mood!) and liberally enjoyed. Rain is coming later this week.
As the girls and their mommy pulled out of the driveway tonight I spent a few minutes staring at Jupiter in the night sky. Jupiter has been making a spectacular appearance this month and I am most appreciative. Despite the fact that I accept the futility of my intention, I grabbed the camera. I have no special lens, no tripod, and basically no way to really capture the moment. But I wanted to try anyway.
I know you really can’t see it (Jupiter is that tiny dot hanging under the tree branch) but I had to try. I can see it in my mind’s eye. While I was appreciating the moment, you can imagine my surprise when suddenly my tree came to life! The branches began to violently move and I could hear a scratching on the trunk that indicated something quite a bit larger than the squirrels was awfully close! For a moment flashes of Sophia’s coyote foreboding flashed through my mind. Before I could contemplate the fact that coyotes don’t live in trees, a larger than I would have imagined raccoon dropped inches from my feet. I learned that I don’t scream when I’m terrified! I stood almost paralyzed as TWO MORE dropped from the tree! My tree!
I guess I’m going to have to go back to the Animal Speak book to see what it means when three raccoons drop from a tree and land at your feet. What I already know, however, is that this was just the best way to end my day. I have wildlife living in MY tree! Perfect!