Your package with the sheepskin rug arrived safely on Tuesday, or that’s when I went into town to fetch it, and in the nick of time. The past two nights have been cold and the fur kept me toasty. It is also the best, non-electrical heating pad for my sore, over-worked muscles after a day of hauling and constructing.
The past few days have been happy in the morning and active in the day then, in late afternoon, my anxiety rises in an array of topics, the foremost being survival fear of bears and big animals, of fire, of strange strangers. I notice I haven’t yet moved the two axes from indoors to under the cabin, though they would be useless against a hungry bear. I feel alone. I have never had to protect myself in this primary way. I’ve dealt with the threat of city muggers in the past, which came mostly to avoiding bad situations. How do I do that here? How does a human being feel safe? A gun? If you are a good shot. There have always been predators and the cabin asks me to look not at identity theft or computer viruses, but at my body, at my life.
In the evenings, I read or watch a bit of movie by way of DVD on my computer, neither of which distract me from my anxiety. (Perhaps crime thrillers, which are fun in NYC, aren’t the right genre for solitude on the mesa—I have to change my Netflix queue.) I turn off the lantern earlier and earlier each night, and watch the sky through the cabin’s ring of windows. My anxiety eases. I listen. I hear. It is quiet and the wind sighs gently, or gives its full-throated aria. I breathe. I feel my body. Sometimes I sit up and chant internally. I am so grateful to my practices which soothe me. The night passes. I alternately sleep or look out, watching the beautiful, luminous sky, and as the moon now waxes, the inky tree shadows lie long on the pale ground.
This is big land out here. It will take some getting used to, and it is big land inside me. I’ve been roving a specific corner of myself the past few years. Now I journey a new frontier.