Sherod is back in Fort Lauderdale. The dogs and cat are adjusting to a new place–Spot, who, in Lauderdale, had become an increasingly independent cat and wanted nothing to do with human companions has become my new best friend. She sleeps against me at night, she is on my lap whenever she gets a chance, she makes biscuits and purrs often. Boo and Daisy follow me around anxiously and if they could talk I wonder if they’d ask when they get to go home.
We are all displaced, dislocated and disoriented and that is quite a good thing. My days right now are about very basic motion–lean down, unwrap, put up, add wrapping paper to the growing pile, break down boxes. Take the dogs out to wander around the pastures that are part of our home, skim the pool, prepare simple meals made of abundant fresh produce, work on ECF projects, go back to the boxes. Go to bed. As dawn is breaking, grind and brew fresh coffee, say the Daily Office, start a new day. I can count the number of cars that go by my house in a day on one hand. I have hardly heard airplanes since I arrived. Mainly, it is the crickets and the birds, and the soft rustling of other small creatures. Last night I fell asleep to the sound of rain coming down on our metal roof and thunder clapping all around me.
How do you say yes to another chance? Right now, it is this basic. I have to get my home in order and that means continuing to unpack and declutter though Lord knows, I thought we’d really pared things way down when we got ready to move. I am settling into some routines that give my day order. In such silence and solitude, those routines become really important. Out here in Lowndes county, there is no such thing as recycling so I got online and found the closest recycling center in Montgomery. It isn’t far from where I will be doing my grocery shopping and to get to either place I drive for 30 miles without seeing more than 1 or 2 tractors and maybe a car. Already I am back in the practice of lifting my index finger from the steering wheel to greet any vehicle I drive by. The way winds and climbs and goes down gentle hills and over the Alabama river and several creeks. In one section it is open, red Alabama dirt and gravel, the intense green of the trees and farmland a mystical encounter all on its own.
The weaving into the community has also begun. I have volunteered to work with a new non-profit getting started in Selma called Grow Selma which will teach people how to grow food in more sustainable ways and sponsor a large organic community garden. I got in touch with the Bishops of the Diocese of Alabama to offer my services in the area. On Sunday, two longtime friends of Sherod’s took us to lunch at the Southern Sportsman’s Lounge. Today, three different women–a neighbor and two members of the small Episcopal church came bearing gifts–a lovely plant, a watermelon, and homemade zucchini bread. I’ll go to church Sunday. I’ll spend the 4th of July at Lake Martin with our friends.
None of this is fast-paced. I am grateful for slow, patient days that allow me to move with care and intention and small steps.