Thursday, July 16, 2009

Adjusting to being here

Sometimes, it just takes time. The belief goes that you get over one hour, i.e. one time zone, of jet lag per day. Thus, from Provence to Michigan, six days should do it for my head, sleep rhythms, hunger, meal times, etc., But, does the same theory work for cultural dislocation?

Six days into being here, I feel just about almost here. I'm learning to chill (re-learning). I'm enjoying that cleaning here means sweeping out the sand, brushing off the window seats, and wiping down some counters: marvelously minimalist.

One historical murder mystery done, and a pile waiting to be slowly and leisurely enjoyed. Early mornings peacefully sipping my tea, reading old New Yorkers, Newsweeks, catching up on the Book Review. Then a quiet walk in the woods. No cell phone attached to my ear, no agenda, simply the birds singing amidst the swaying branches.

My eyes are seeking out tree-climbing trees. Why are there so few in these woods? When I was a child, there were more, weren't there? But now, the firs seem few and far between, and the ever taller deciduous are resistant to the small arms of a child eager to scramble and discover. Neighbors pass me with their dogs, their walking sticks. The early morning walk on these dirt roads is a favorite amongst us all.

When I roll out my yoga mat, the loons are calling, laughing in the distance. Then comes the peck, peck pecking of the woodpeckers, and lastly, the cawing of crows, no doubt reacting to the prowling of my mother's cats. I've put a yoga pod cast on, and the jarring sounds of the Philadelphia based voice directing my movements is a bit invasive, even though I follow it calmly. As I look up from half-moon stance, I see the trees sway. The mosquitoes are a heavy, slow-moving breed, but numerous. I leave a very non-zen cemetery around me as I swat, kick, slap through upward and downward dog.

And yet, it is all starting to feel right. This is my history, a world I know and love. I've been so rarely here over the past few years. I've worked so many summers at the b&b, doing the cooking classes, the teen courses, and more. It is a deep and distant part of myself that is getting a chance to re-emerge.

It's me, and it's other, and it's awakening as I watch with joy my sons re-discover the lake, kayak for the first time, rule the roost, and my mother, flapping those flippers through the water.

Now, I've got to get over my hot weather toes and get into the water myself. It's almost as disorienting to go from 90(35) degree weather to 65 (20) as it is to adjust to all the shifting cultural clues and elements.

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