Now that things have settled down, I finally have time to catch up on my backlog of intended entries, so you're getting a barrage at once from my paper journal. (Yes, I have a paper journal.)
My long absence has been due to pursing a job opportunity I could not logically pass up in the middle of a very short-term job opportunity I really love, and then, more recently, partying pretty much every night, which is very unlike me.
So this is from a couple of days ago:
Today I started my morning by wading into a cool mountain river. Then I had breakfast at a diner that turned out to be rather nice--though admittedly the topic of conversation was my exasperating co-worked and housemate (the one who inspired my last entry, in fact.)
I sat on a high stony cliff and watched five turkey vultures land and take off, land and take off from stone pillars. I went to an evening gathering which featured easy-to-learn folk dances around a camp fire, and happily discovered a rhythm of joy around the flames, amid the singing of the catidids, under the full moon. When I got back home I stopped first, in the big meadow, to listen to the barred owl calling into the night.
When trying to seize the day, some days are much easier than others.
I have a job now. A real one, not an Americorps park ranger 12-week stay in Shenandoah National Park (oh, that's what she's doing...)--which unfortunately means I have to leave this actually quite amazing experience early. Stain my name for future Americorps, and all that.
And I am someone who worries so much about the future: about my plans, my decisions, about how I relate to the people and places in my life. I worry so much over every little failure or perceived failure, every little uncertainty that I must attend to and turn into certainty if possible--that I forget to seize the day, and be thankful that I live a privileged enough life that every day is generally worth seizing. I live a privileged life because of luck of the birth draw, but also because of my choices: to pursue the things I want, to establish and immerse myself in what I value, to hold on to the people I love, to embrace challenge and learning when it is presented me.
Being here, interpreting a natural resource for visitors, has nourished something that has been inside of me my whole life but has recently only had small occasion to voice. The child who climbed trees to the tallest branch, who knew at ten the common names of most of the tree types in my neighborhood, who captured and released baby frogs while wading in the pond in the backyard, who counted dragonflies and pressed wildflowers and imagined running away to live off of the land as an adult. How that closeness to the natural world fills and inspires all of the things I love even now, all of my hopes and challenges.
I have been looking for a job for months and I finally got one, and it is an exciting one, and the fact that I felt no choice but to be distracted from my time here to pursue it, that irony would say that of course when I decide to go and have a self-bettering-through-service experience is when the jobs come up--that can't matter. I'm here now, I have stimulated that spring of wonder, inspiration, and joy--and if I wish I could have all of it well then I should have just learned to seize the day before it was gone.