Little Life Moments.

I tried to save a bug tonight. Actually, I tried to get it out of my car. It sat beside the windowsill of the passenger seat. I lowered the glass with the press of a button. Once it was down, I flicked the bug but it fell further down the side door. I flicked it again and tore its body apart. The bug died at my attempts to set it free.

When I sat down to write, this was the first thing I could think of. And I can’t tell you why, but moments like this stick out in my mind. Little life moments that last only seconds or minutes. They come and go swiftly like the wind.

Speaking of wind, another moment that struck me today was the way the dry leaves tumbled across the grass. They remained low to the ground like wheels rolling on the pavement. The leaves rolled on the earth with force from the wind. And they traveled like a herd of fallen stars.

Does this mean anything? What’s the significance?

I don’t know. It’s just what I remembered. And I felt like writing it down.

Where the Wildflowers Grow.

Mia had a cross country race on Saturday. Before every race, we walk the course. I walked alongside her and the other parents with their children in her age group.

There was a part of the track that was covered with shade from the hillside and trees, bushes and plants. It felt like a tunnel through the wild. But at one point, in the dark, the sun found a way in. Mia pointed to its rays of light like lazer beams through the holes in the leaves. She stopped to comment on beauty of it. And I shared in her sentiments.

This is how I feel right now. I feel like I’m trekking through the wilderness covered in shade. The terrain is rough, rocky and “unpredictable” (the word Mia used to describe the race that day). But here I am, walking along with one of the loves of my life, on a beautiful path;  and although it’s dark, the light never fails to show up and be known.

I acknowledge this part of the journey. I no longer wish to fight it or swat it away like the annoying fly that likes me. I will walk through it knowing I am loved, I am not alone, and the light will always find a way in. I walk forward knowing I will walk out into an open field under the sun where the dragonflies swarm and the wildflowers grow.

 

“You belong among the wildflowers. You belong somewhere you feel free.”  

~ Tom Petty ~

 

Californian.

There’s a torn out page from Country Living Magazine folded into one of my previous journals. On the page are several country homes for sale around the United States.

Mark and I often fanaticize about moving to another state. I dream of a house in the country surrounded by trees and Mark dreams of an island where he could run a taco shack, teach golf and surf.

California is where we were both born and raised. We created our family here. But sometimes I feel like I’m settling and maybe I’m just afraid of expanding my wings. Am I allowing fear to limit me? Am I just playing it safe? Will I be happy remaining in one place – one area – for the rest of my life?

We have begun a search for a bigger home. We currently live in a two bedroom condo. And with three kids our home is feeling a bit cramped.

So I’ve asked myself some questions in order to find the right house for us: What do you want? What are you looking for? Where do you want to be? How do you want to live?

I felt like sitting on the beach and eating something fishy.

The kids and I were in Santa Barbara. Our playdate at the zoo had ended but we were not yet ready to leave.

I looked up beachfront restaurants and found Shoreline Beach Café. On the way there, we stopped at a red light. A man on a motorbike rode by and a loud knock rattled my car. The impact was loud and alerted us. I believe the motorbike man struck the side car door mirror. I looked out the passenger window to assess the situation. A man in a red VW looked back at me. His window was down. He made a hand gesture signaling the motorbike man and mouthed something like “What the heck is wrong with that guy?”
I gestured in return and said, “I know. What the heck?”

The man in the red VW looked at my car and gave me a thumbs up. All was well. He then yelled at motorbike man to grab his attention. He made hand gestures and said something like, “You hit her car.”

Motorbike man looked back at me and raised his hand. “Sorry.” He said.

I raised my hand. “It’s okay.” I said.

The abrupt sound raised my heart rate but I was glad no further damage was done. And I was thankful for the kindness shown from my fellow drivers.

 

We arrived at the café and sat at a table in the sand. It felt good to sit in the cool ocean breeze and smell the fresh salty sea air. I felt relaxed. The kids were relaxed as well. The girls were calm and quiet. And Abe sat in my lap as I fed him black beans and fish. I drank a cold beer and enjoyed some fish tacos.

I overheard two men nearby discussing business matters. One of the men said something like, “This is the opportunity of a lifetime.”

“That’s what they all say.” I whispered.

Abe stood up in my lap. He smiled and giggled at girl who sat in the sand behind me.

I thought of a question to ask the girls to strike up a conversation. “What is your summer dream?” I asked.

“To have fun.” Alana said.

“I want to ride a boat.” Mia said, “But not a wooden one.”

There was a large white boat in the ocean. Mia pointed to it. “Like that one.” She said.
It looked like a yacht or a small cruise ship.

Great, I thought. How am I going to make that happen?

I looked toward the sea. There were wind surfers out with their parachute sails in the air.

It was the first day of summer. As we sat and ate a late lunch on the sand I realized, I would never leave California.

 

On the drive home, I saw a family walk together along the beach road. My first thought was: they’re tourists. Maybe it was how closely they walked together or because they were all blonde with fair skin. I’m not sure, but I made a judgment in a glance.

A young man, tan with blonde hair, rode on a bike past them. His shirt was unbuttoned allowing his muscular chest to greet the breeze. As he rode by I thought: Is that how they see us? Californians?

I chuckled and drove home.

Two days later, I ran errands with Abe. We went to the post office. When I took Abe out of the car, I swung the car door open a little too far and hit the side mirror of the car beside me. I turned around to see a red car. I inspected the mirror. No damage was done but I felt guilty.

I moved quickly as the guilt spread across my face. I didn’t want everyone to see it. I purchased stamps and mailed a birthday card to my best friend in San Francisco. And then I fled the scene.

As I left, I considered the circumstances and found a common thread from what had happened in Santa Barbara. But what did it mean? Was the hit from motorbike man merely a warning? Was the universe trying to tell me to be more aware? I didn’t know.

But I knew it was synchronicity.

Someone once told me synchronicity means you’re on the right path, meaning: you are where you’re supposed to be and headed in the direction you are meant to go.

I believe I am where I’m meant to be.

I also believe: I should watch out for motorbikes and side mirrors, and eat more lunches on the sand.

After all, I am a Californian.