Wednesday, August 11, 2010
...If you're lucky after a number of revolutions, you'll feel something catch.
Mattea Harvey, from Introduction to the World
Shortly after the day began, after a strong cup of coffee and other good things, I felt off. You know off? Like when you try putting the lid of a jar back on but can’t get the grooves to groove and, finally, you have to put jar and lid away near each in the cupboard but not mated. Or when you step down from the curb and the asphalt’s farther away than you expected and your foot dangles aimlessly for a mere millisecond but long enough for your heart to lurch? Or like your jacket’s off—truly—and it’s suddenly cold and you’d like that jacket on but don’t recall where you left it off.
Off, as my friend Roxane may feel this morning after she drops her younger daughter Ella off for her first day of kindergarten and gets an in-your-face confirmation that both Ella and Margo are truly growing up, the kind of confirmation that’s exciting but is also tinged with sadness, enough to cause any loving and attentive mom or dad to feel, well, off.
Not off in a life-shattering way, not like the every day of some people—of too many. Not off like you can’t pay the rent or your job has been taken away to a country you’ve never even visited or one of your best beloved’s is really sick. No, I thank God and all the Angels and every pine cone, leaf and star, that’s not the kind of off I’m talking about but something much tinier, more brush- under-the-rug variety, more wait awhile and it this too will shift. It’s only that my humor’s mute button got pushed and even a forced chuckle isn’t enough to get the jar’s lid fitting neatly again.
And then... after awhile of having Jacks Peak under my clad feet and its air pumping through my lungs, the oaks and the Monterey Pines sheltering me like so many friends, I began to groove. The scales of my being bean to tip in my favor. My step touched more lightly on the earth. I felt compelled forward and deeper down, way past, strata past, feeling off.
Even took a different and unplanned route, walked a section of Rhus Trail I’d never been on before. It was really steep. (My calves still feel the hill in them.) Walking up my heart was unequivocal. It became excited by the hill’s incline and sent enough oxygen through to me to dazzle. There was one thing and one thing alone for it to do: pump, baby, pump!
At the top of Rhus was the road, but I didn’t panic; I knew where I was and hung a left, crossed the road, got onto the skinny section of Pine Trail, a flat trail, which crosses the kiosk and keeps going. I kept going.
A bit further along, I checked to see if the Geo-Cache was still hidden, and it was. (The people playing that game are kinda slow, it seems to me.)
Just beyond that I noticed a hole in the ground to the left of the trail, stopped, trying to figure out: whose home? Snake perhaps? No kicked-up dirt—not a gopher. Aha, bees. A down-in-the-ground beehive! I’d never seen such a house before, stood close, watching them come and go like workers with their ties fastened, clutching briefcases. Guess I out stayed my welcome, if I’d had a welcome. Bees were speeding my way, so I hightailed it. A bit later thought, hey, I’d a like a photo of that habitat. So I turned around, walked back.
Back and forth three times, each time slower than before. What on earth? I could find neither bees nor the entrance to their house. All had evaporated. Had they miraculously covered up their door, quickly and fearfully fled? Frustration threatened to set me off. But enough of that! Let’s call it a visitation by Houdini, a marvelous disappearing act. Later, when I sheepishly told Michael, thinking he’d find me silly for losing a bees’ nest, he just said, “Nature’s like that.”
Posted by Patrice Vecchione at 8:41 AM