My idea of good weather has changed since 2017. Before the Sonoma Napa Valley Tubbs Fire, my favorite time of year was Fall. I still love Fall, but only the tail end of it when the rains come. This morning, the first real storm of the season hit and it was wonderful. A blessing from the heavens. The rain poured in sheets of water. I left the dry warmth long enough to take a walk through the woods near the house, a small doe was foraging down hill. As she turned, and crept away to hide a few feet away, I found a private spot in the woods and peed. We have a beautiful bathroom with a spa tub in the house we are staying in, but there is nothing like feeling wild enough to pee in the woods. It's something men probably don't think much about, for women, or at least for me, it makes me feel rooted, untamed.
Most of the afternoon, I've spent watching a Netflix series, and intermittently taking a break to look out the windows with each vantage point revealing ashen grey storm clouds building up over the sky readying for the next release. I am wishing upon wish for the temperature to drop enough for snow to fall.
I sit here writing with a hot cup of coffee, a piece of pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and a calmness I haven't been able to feel since the beginning of summer. For the first time in five months, I feel no threat of disaster. COVID still hovers. With a vaccine on the way, my fears diminish of getting sick or passing on the virus.
These last few months, facing so many threats, I have learned to embrace my fears, to in a way embrace my death. I still hate fire season and the constant upheaval and worries about whether to evacuate or not.
One of my favorite spiritual teachers Ram Dass spoke of his teacher Emmanuel who reminded him not to fear death. "Death is safe." I love that! Death is safe. What a thought. He also said "Death is like removing a tight shoe." Hmm. Maybe death isn't that bad after all.
I am not anticipating my death or worrying about it. I do contemplate it. And I find that the more I embrace my inevitable death from this body, I relish life even more so.
Looking out the window, the sky grows darker. The next couple of weeks, our last few days here, I will deepen my roots into this forest, I will cherish the moments I have left. Where we are going will be so different from where we are now. We are searching for just the right cottage on the beach in San Diego so we can plant our feet in the sand, and walk, and walk, and walk.
Today, I watch the rain and let the forest seep into my soul.