Every time I wake to the low fog hanging over the creek, I know that I have chosen the perfect place to live. I rise to look through the big window, watching the sun glint off the wisps clinging to the willow. This could not be more enchanting. As the morning progresses, the fog will diminish until nothing remains but the promise of its return. Dappled shadows will dance on the meadow, broken only by the occasional flit of a tail as some critter makes its way to the trickle of water lying below the bank.
The water which I pour through the filter drips over grinds to make the mild coffee that I enjoy in the morning. In a little while, I will scramble eggs, chiding myself for my massive butter consumption. But my scolding means nothing. I have no problem with butter, nor with eggs, nor with the puckering sourness of the grapefruit which I scoot from a jar into a little Italian dish that once hung on my mother-in-law’s wall in Leawood.
I break my fast at the cherry table. Sheldon crafted this table from a tree which fell in their yard. As I touch its surface, I remember the unmailed birthday gift for Paula and idly wonder where I put the card which I bought for her and hauled back from Kansas City. I think about the three hours spent online job-hunting last night; and the shakes which my legs endured as a punishment for the delicious apple fritter from the Rio Vista bakery. My friend Melissa has had to abandon white sugar. I strive to do so but my black moods push me to crave it. I take another sip of coffee and forgive my backslide.
On the nearby shelf, I see the first little angel which I collected so many years ago. She’s actually a fairy, I think; and she holds a star. Under her, the word HOPE has been carved into the tree stump on which she sits. Her lavender dress cascades over thin legs. She wears a sweet smile. Her eyes slightly cross,over a pointed nose. She cheers me.
I do not doubt that the sun will find its way to the pinnacle of the sky and glow for hours. I’ll drive to Lodi to buy some stepping stones and the grey mid-century shelf which I found at Secondhand Rose. I’m still getting situated, here at Angel’s Haven. I ordered the jacks which I need to level the house and keep the tires from rotting. The cabinet will go in the bathroom instead of some metal thing from Home Depot. I’ll move the heart mirror to another spot, one where my old eyes can actually see its contoured surface. Not that I care how I look; not that anyone else cares. But still — now and then, I at least need to be presentable. I have an ambivalent relationship with mirrors. What can I say? It’s complicated.
The stepping stones will help me navigate the ground from the porch to my car. The path needs grass; but until spring, the stones will keep my feet steady, my pace sure. Or as sure as lily-white spastic feet can be. That’s the goal, anyway. Always. Steady. Sure. Moving forward.
It’s the third day of the fiftieth month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.