[the sounds inspired 2 lines of thought so there will be two soundful posts]
I’ve been thinking a great deal lately about how the sounds in my life have changed.
It really hit me the other week when my waking and sleeping sounds of drip drip drip changed tempo. The temperature was slightly increasing but mostly it had been super sunny. one day it was in single digits but sunny. the snow was melting and freezing as it dripped down the branches of this tree i was walking by. i would have taken a picture, but there were these drunk white dudes in the hot tub in the background.
It’s been melting for weeks and it is February. But that isn’t what I want to write about today.
I’m working on that one.
This one I want to simply recognize the changes
So I woke the other day, and there was no drip
No little trickle
It was completely silent.
Is it mud season already?
It was around 3 am so I padded off to a window to see what I couldn’t hear
It was snowing!
It was snowing big fat fluffy flakes.
I needed to go back to sleep, but I just couldn’t bring myself to turn away. It was like the ocean all over again but not….the roaring silence of snow falling in a quiet mountain town (we were between music festivals).
I didn’t realize just how much I’ve missed the roar of the unpacific Pacific Ocean (as Brian Doyle refers to her in his novel plover).
She was such a companion for so long and it’s not like I forgot all the sensations, it’s just that I got distracted by others. There is so much to absorb in this world. But for more than a season, my rhythms and her’s were synched up. I paid attention to the rise and fall of her tide, so I was also aware of the moon, it’s phase and pull on us all.
I woke and slept to the crashing of waves, or the rare occasion when the ocean was still and smooth and reflected the sky in a perfect mirror.
Here my skin is rarely exposed to the elements. my hands sometimes. my face mostly. i miss the sun on my body. i don’t miss the sandy grit in sensitive places, but the white salt that would accumulate on me and anything on my body as i rode in record-breaking heat. i do actually miss that. i may for reals belong in a warm tropical environment.
And the smell of the ocean air…and its effects on my sinuses. I don’t think I realized just how good that air was for me until it was gone and my nose congested from the dry mountain air. a pot sits simmering on the stove when i am “home”.
I noticed the shift in my scent sense a couple days ago. It had been snowing for a few days. The air was crisp and clean and dry and I smelled pine. It was subtle, maybe from a fire, but I saw no smoke (most people seem to have gas fireplaces). But the smell was clear and it wasn’t sea air.
Nor was it the smell of dead fish, seaweed, or sea lion.
Nor the taste of the salt air in all that i eat. instead, it is the taste of snow with every breath as i pump up the hill each and every day i leave my abode. there is something clean, crips, and just a little sweet on my tongue most days.
I can’t say that I miss the ocean
I do but not really…it’s complicatedly simple
I miss her like I miss lovers and friends who are off doing their things while I do mine. I’m excited to hear about their adventures while I have mine
We had a mighty fine times
But now she is crashing on the shores as someone else gets to sit mesmerized while watching appreciatively wondering what is beneath those unseeable depths.
And I am gazing off at mountains barren or snow peaked in just as much awe.
So no I don’t miss the ocean
I am grateful that she is there and I know that from here I can still care for her and have an impact on her either positively or negatively based on how I live my life and the choices I make. that the snow i see now will melt and flow down through the rivers and merge into her waters.
An exciting thing about remembering to be in the moment is the noticing. it is a sensation i appreciate about meditation and yoga; paying attention to where i am now. the more i pay attention to specific moments, the more i recognize the subtle shifts and changes in myself and my environment. that means i go slower, i do fewer things but i do them more fully, hopefully…
The drips returned today…it was 1 degree when I woke up
One degree and warming.