It has been quite a week. I took Katy to the airport this morning, enjoyed breakfast with Jeff and Jan, came home and attended to neglected plants and slept and slept. It appears that I do not have the energy of a fourteen year old. What a surprise and yet I struggled against admitting it, pushing myself more than probably made sense. I feel like the trickster stepped into my life this week, said, "Ah, hah, you have limits, and now, once again, don't forget."
It has been a reflective week for both Katy and me. We visited her homes of the past and memories swirled for us both. We had many discussions and enjoyed traveling through various landscapes in CA. I am always amazed at how beautiful this state, how varied, and how much of the land is open and protected and how much is used for crops.
I have thought back on my childhood, on the freedom there, the communication with landscape and trees. That necessity has stayed with me, that need to settle in to sand, mountain, stream or land. What we saw at the Monterey Bay Aquarium was astonishing. The sea otters were in full performance mode and the seahorse exhibit was breath-taking and yet there was nothing to equal our exploration of the tide pools, the colors and movement, the awe of touching an anemone and feeling the inward suck. I watched the full moon rise full and red-orange over Monterey Bay and home today, amidst the naps would wake and watch the plants and hummingbirds and change of light. I become more and more sensitive to nature it seems, more in need of it, and I wonder if some of that is a reaction to technology, a response.
Jeff and Jan are very up-to-date with the appliances they hold in their hands. Jan has an iphone and Jeff has something similar. We're driving along and Jan hands me her phone and I can look up the ingredients for a recipe. When Katy and I were lost trying to get Kip's, he couldn't understand why we called for new directions rather than using a GPS. I stumbled along this week, caught in the fluidity of the past where eventually we did find things, while also recognizing how much more complex life and travel is. My brother could follow Katy's flight across the country. She said she felt like a UPS package when she heard that, a package with a tracking number. Kip's wife says she has to use GPS now to find her way around an area she has lived in her whole life. I still like to look at the sun, to feel east, west, north, south and yes we did do a bit of traveling that a GPS might have eliminated and yet, does it matter. It is about the journey not the destination and yet it is so lovely to arrive.
I picked up a book today at the airport, Learning to Breathe, by Alison Wright. I was sobered by these words:
"From 1964 to 1973, U.S. warplanes dropped about two million tons of bombs in the jungles of eastern Laos - an average of one planeload of bombs every eight minutes, around the clock, for nine years. Up to 30 percent of them didn't explode. This has deeply affected the Laotian economy by rendering much of the land useless. These potentially lethal cluster bomblets, or bombis, continue to endanger the Laotian people, mostly field workers and children who mistake them for colorful toys."
Where do I put that in the beauty of my life, the gifts, grace, ease? I felt this week as I explored with Katy, picked up rocks and sifted sand how much I need the sound of the waves, the lift of wind. She noticed the sand on the beach in Carmel squeaks. I don't know why it does that, but it is lovely to share presence with a child of another generation, one raised in a world different than my own. Perhaps I felt stretched this week between generations. I don't understand many of the jokes that my sons and Katy share. I wasn't up until midnight riding the rides at the Boardwalk in Santa Cruz and playing Laser Tag, but I was awake that late, watching the changing of the light, and children at play. Some boys worked all afternoon and until eleven at night, digging out and building an elaborate sand castle. In the morning it was gone.
Memories don't dissolve and exchange goes on and on.