i do everything differently now

This morning I mowed the back yard then walked two miles with Jim at the nearby park, then made peach banana smoothies in the blender, got a luscious shower, sat and talked with a friend by phone, then made myself a tomato sandwich and came in here to write to you, because I realize... I do everything differently now.
I picked up a bazillion pine cones and sticks before I mowed.

I mowed slowly. I paid attention to what I was doing. I was meditative, even in the heat. I sweated a lot.

The peaches are from the farmer's market. I go to two local markets each week now. I am getting to know the farmers. They remember me, too.

I'm cutting out material for a bag I'm going to sew. I'm hanging out with my new friends. I'm watching my grown children create their adult lives. I'm planning a vacation. I'm listening to new stories in my head as they compete for attention -- me! no, me!

My pace is different, without a deadline or the next travel coming up. Life feels expansive. I'm grounding myself in Atlanta, centering myself, planting my feet firmly in my new life.

When I became a suddenly single parent in 2000, a friend told me, "It will take ten years to ground yourself in a new life." It has been almost nine. I'm finding my rhythms, finally. Taking this time off the road is giving me a way to do this. I hardly knew which end was up for such a long time.

Then I moved to Atlanta five years ago and got right out on the road again. It was good work that I was grateful to have and I made good friends, but I never got to settle into any kind of routines in my new home. So now I'm picking up pine cones and getting to know the local farmers and their produce.

I'm finding a rhythm to the day, a cadence to the season, and the measure of a new marriage, as well. It takes time. I look around me now and notice -- I have space. It is a glorious feeling.

So I do everything differently now. And when I go back out again, I will have had the time to become planted in the household tides of a homeplace once again, and the travel won't overwhelm me so much. I'll come home and slip back into the routines and rhythms I have established in this time off. They will be here waiting for me.

Lucky. I am lucky, all around. "We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it." That's how I feel today.

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