With heavy clouds and a light rain, a melancholy has descended on my heart these last few days. Since returning from the airport to my Riverside apartment so quiet and still littered with the evidence of kids’ visits, each afternoon feels weary. The harder work is now apparent as the new life becomes regular life.
Living in the mess of construction means you get used to the upheaval and disarray. It is more difficult to sustain the extra hours of saws and nail guns now that I am accustomed to slicing tomatoes on a plywood countertop. The unsanded floors, now covered with carpets, furniture and still-packed boxes, remain dark and rough. I am no longer aware of stepping over and around the cans of paint and pile of wood. The tables and chairs are pushed around still auditioning for their places. All so temporary, it settles into home.
Words, too, so crisp and newly reunited with my pen and fingers, have lost their luster as day in and day out the vocabulary does not expand. How many ways can one speak with optimism of moving forward when the jobs are routine, the bank account does not grow, the friends are all busy in their own lives?
Each step forward seems so tiny, the view barely changes as if there is no movement at all. The site of unfinished shelves and doorways should snap me into bursts of activities on this dreary day outside. Instead, I sip my coffee and contemplate all from my chair, wondering how the movement of the last months could feel so stagnant today.
It is difficult to appreciate that all climbers of mountains must sit a moment on their ledges and gaze out across their valleys. The long and arduous path seen from this height is impressive, though the route still leads ever upward. For me, I dive randomly into a journal and connect with the guy of some time ago who scribbled this or that, and managed to move himself forward then.
Once again, from this ledge, I am reminded that the peak above me is just one more mountain, its own fleeting moment of achievement. The wind will slap euphoric congratulations on the face, but eventually all climbers must return to earth, descend to their homes and hearths to celebrate with loved ones, and consider their next ascent towards another peak.
(I feel better already)