I am surrounded by metaphors. During the first week of my sojourn in the place of great and timeless beauty, I saw autumn changes in the landscape and I was reminded timeless does not mean standing still. The first weekend I was here, a storm swept through with heavy rain and gusting wind. The power went out. Thank goodness for the living, breathing presence of my dog and his physical warmth. Thank goodness for the living, breathing presence of a fire and the pleasure of its primitive company.
The time changed during the first weekend. I should have known what to expect, but was still surprised when the sun set at four-thirty. It is an hour too early for darkness, but I can’t stop it. I was reminded certain deaths occur too early, but we can’t stop those either. In this place, the trees are bare. Most of their leaves have fallen and have carpeted the forest paths with brown, orange and yellow. I was struck with the realization that I can see the forest for the trees.
At this time of year, on clear nights, in this geographical location, the stars appear crisp and brittle in the sky. They remind me of long-ago dreams. The Big Dipper hangs low and parallel on my horizon, just above the treeline. It is a reassuring sight because the cup is up. Everything within it is contained. Nothing can spill.
There is silence here, interrupted mostly by the chatter in my mind. However, two weeks into this sojourn, much of it stilled. I wonder if it is because the chatter has nowhere else to go. Another possibility is the chatter has receded because the backburner of my mind simmers with scenes from my novel, identifying and detangling plot threads.
At home, I have a refrigerator magnet printed with a popular quote about peace. However, over a month ago, I shoved it into the back of the kitchen junk drawer. Then much to my surprise, circumstances evolved and allowed me to come to the solitude and silence of the mountains. However, I did not come for peace. I came to finish my book. This is not always a particularly peaceful process. In addition, I came to find out if I could abide with all of the memories here, the good and the bad. Frankly, that hasn’t been altogether peaceful either.
Still, regardless of whether I like it or want it, peace abounds here. Once I quit ducking it, I saw that my hands have been clinched around the steering wheel of my life for over a year. Three weeks into this sojourn, the ache in my hands has eased. Darkness doesn’t abide by any clock and the stars are present, crisp and shining, whether they are visible or not. I am my own company. I have become my own metaphor of peace.
As published in Luminous Wisdom Magazine