It’s windy tonight, and the rain is splattering against the windows. It’s good to be inside with the cats. I have a little fire, even; a candle I bought today. I wandered into the scents section of the PCC on my quest for fish oil pills, and two smelly things came home with me. This is just a little beeswax votive with I forget what essential oils, but it’s dancing in the drafty house, and makes a warmer light in my bedroom than the computer monitor. I also noticed all night, whenever I moved, how the scent puddled around the candle. It fades or settles when I’m still, but if I get up I wade into the scent, stirring it up.
The other acquisition was a sachet made from wildcrafted sages gathered near Big Sur. Interesting how scent instantly transports me back. I remember like yesterday, shortly after I moved into my duplex on Myrtle St in Santa Cruz (216B!), when the tenant of the other unit asked me to take her to gather sage for smudge sticks. She didn’t have a car, but wanted to go to a particular spot that was a couple miles north of town. I had nothing better planned.
I took her, and we walked around snipping branches off the odd plant and gathering them into shopping bags. This was a time before the ubiquitous plastic tumbleweeds were around, when shopping bags were all made out of paper. We walked and talked, and shared the sunset from a hillside looking across US 1 to the cliffs and the ocean. The scent of the sage was billowing around us, awakened by the fog that came in off the Pacific like a wall.
We took it home, bundled it up, wrapped the bunches with thread in many colors, then hung them in our respective kitchens to dry. I kept one of those bundles for many years; I don’t remember when I let it go. Probably when I moved to Philadelphia.
I now have a little bag of memories sitting on the table next to me. I can squeeze it and close my eyes, and two decades slide away in an instant. I am new to Santa Cruz again, and inhaling it for the first time. I think I’ll keep it in my car, where I can be surprised by the scent whenever I open the door. Much nicer than stale car smell. All this for less than the price of a latte. 😉
Clearly I’m having a bumpy start with this daily pages thing. eh. I want it. It’s good for me. I just have to fit it consistently into my routine. To some extent, I have. While I haven’t been writing here, I have been writing every night. Last night was a work deadline, a couple other nights were long overdue emails, and there was a post that I started but didn’t feel right putting up. It started as a rambly thing, and then I stumbled over a metaphor I want to get just right. It’s going to be beautiful, but it’s still cooking.
I’ve never done pages at night before. they’ve always been a morning thing for me. My life is very upside down now, though, with this odd schedule I’m keeping. I know what building blocks I need to be happy, but I’m having to rearrange them from their customary positions to support working east coast hours from the west coast. I’m slowly putting my life back together. It feels good.
I’m not tired all the time anymore– I’m getting the hang of napping, and of simply feeling tired at 9pm, so that I can bounce out of bed at 5am. It’s a new rhythm, but it’s going to be a good one. And it seems that I’m doing my daily writing at night, as a way to wind down to sleep.
I need to get back in the swing of exercising. I was good for the first couple months here, but then work got really tough, and I stopped being able to take an hour during the day to workout in the office gym. Fulay wants me to start walking with her, though, and that sounds good. And I want to get in the habit of walking by the beach a couple times a week. I chose to live near Alki for a reason. At some point I need to get the bike rolling and work on that, too.
But for now, sleep is what I need most.