Making the shift from urban to rural living is involving challenges and surprises. I still feel like I'm crawling on the freeway, and I'm learning to be patient EVERYWHERE because everyone moves more slowly than I'm used to moving. But they are all so nice and calm. Perhaps there is something to be learned?
We're still in shock realizing how close we live to natural beauty. A couple of Saturdays ago we took the drive to the headwaters of the Sacramento River, at the base of Mt. Shasta. We wanted to see Shasta before all the snow melted in the 112 degree heat we have been experiencing.
The water in this stream has been filtering for 50 years through Shasta before it emerged. It is reported to be the purest water in the state. People come from miles around to fill their water jugs. We filled our little tourist bottles, drank deeply, and waited for the miracle. The water was clear and cold and delicious. I think something miraculous happened. I feel 20 years younger! Oh wait, just looked in the mirror. Never mind.
The next weekend we made our first trip to Lassen, and found a shallow lake for us to wade in and the kids to swim in. We unexpectedly ran into some friends, making the day richer for us all. By the time we got home at 6:00 pm it had cooled to a pleasant 93 degrees. Adjust body, adjust.
The next Saturday (sense a theme?) we looked for a place to take a hike where there would be water, and our nifty EveryTrail app led us to Whiskeytown Falls. (Warning: map apps do not work in the mountains far from town. Additional greenhorn warning: when going on a hike in the mountains, take extra water, protein bars, and wear hiking shoes NOT, gym shoes.)
The pictures don't do it justice. Six miles, round trip. In gym shoes. So much to learn. This helped.
Along the way we met Bambi. (Note: this is not a closeup.) She was a little too friendly for her own good.
We are learning a few things along the trails. We are learning that we feel revived and alive, having the luxury to experience nature on a regular basis. Preoccupations seem to fade away or fall into a healthy perspective in the light of the glorious handiwork of creation. The physical movement is also helpful for our creaking bodies. Move it or lose it, so I hear.
But I have another interesting observation. Right now on the journey I feel like I'm playing a role, that it's not really me on these adventures. Everything I do feels so unnatural, unfamiliar, and sometimes uncomfortable and forced, even if it is enjoyable. This is confusing. This is my life, but it doesn't feel like my life. Then the other day I realized, change is supposed to feel this way. Any change we make in our lives, even good change, feels at the beginning...unnatural, unfamiliar, uncomfortable. If I really want to live differently, and embrace this new country and new lifestyle, along with its new opportunities and challenges, then these feelings are a normal part of the process. I can relax into the reality that I am embracing a change of lifestyle, a change of activities, and the opportunity to build new relationships. This change involves letting go of a beloved past part of my life to have open hands to embrace the new and emerging present. Discomfort is not necessarily an enemy to be avoided. Sometimes its the doorway into new life.
Love from NorCalia