Slow Motion




TRENDING: color and scent

Since we arrived last year in June…

…Eddie hasn’t spent much time with us. [Ed. note: The first-person plural “us” might seem  clumsy here, but it satisfies our vanity and reflects our exaggerated sense of our own importance.]

Salvia, S. pratensis, meadow sage

Eddie is busy. Of course he’s busy. At 33, he’s spent the last three years building a business from scratch… during a recession… and it’s growing as quickly and becoming as hardy as the sage and mesquite he with which he decorates the desert.

former Army officer…

It’s staggering, how much Eddie knows and how hard he works… his winning way with clients, his competence and dependability… his love of the natural environment and his commitment to sustaining and protecting it. We can admire him — the gruff and demanding boss — while glimpsing now and then the sweet-natured four-year-old… the brilliant eighteen-year-old… and the respected Army sergeant, who successfully balanced a number of traits that have served him so well: strong, effective, natural leadership ability; wry, unfailing humor; and congeniality.

THESE DAYS, EDDIE IS A LANDSCAPING PROFESSIONAL AND ENTREPRENEUR whose “busy season” seems perpetual. He often works seven days out of seven under the punishing desert sun, in unrelenting heat… dedicating his rare days off to his wife and young children. This is, of course, as it ought to be. Our efforts to convey certain vibes as the four of them leave for an outing — e.g., our excruciating craving for cherry-vanilla frozen yogurt, size XXXXL — are less effective than we would prefer.

the lavender-scented granny in an apron

We adore the children-in-residence and, when we moved in to the nearby trailer fourteen months ago, we immediately sought out a niche to slip into… a visible, comforting, but unobtrusive role, such as that of (a) granny-about-the-house type, (b) clad in our uniform, one of a quaint assortment of old-fashioned floral bib aprons, (c) honored to be of service in any of a number of ways, such as baking honey-lemon bars, babysitting on Friday nights, and sweeping the stoop several times a day for the purpose of accomplishing cleanliness of stoop and strength of shoulders and torso. Though we are able to housekeep quickly and creatively, we are habitually slow out of the gate, waking each morning all but immobilized by a spine consisting pretty much of twigs and string, while Terry is frighteningly scheduled and organized. By the time I can manage a heartfelt offer to assist, Terry’s efficiency has carried her two to three hours forward. Settling into a rhythm of task-sharing and -coordination has proven futile.

A FARMER’S WIFE SWEEPING, Jean François Millet (1867)

When your peace is threatened or disturbed in any way say to yourself, ‘I do not know what anything, including this, means. And so I do not know how to respond to it. And I will not use my own past learning as the light to guide me now.’ When the light comes and you have said, ‘God’s Will is mine,’ you will see such beauty that you will know it is not of you.”

the incredible dawn
…the incredible dawn

Just when we had begun to relax, soon after Christmas, we learned that our visit was to be shorter than we had supposed. We would need to make other arrangements in keeping with our comparative obscurity and indigence… or to attempt a bolder, less straightforward stratagem: (a) choosing a clever, enigmatic alias (Pretty-Boy Floyd? Jeanne d’Arc?)…

Pretty Boy Floyd (top), Joan of Arc (above)

and (b) checking in at the nearby Miraval spa-resort. Unfortunately, neither Mr. Floyd nor Ms. d’Arc possessed credit cards. Their only credentials, as it happened, consisted of warrants for their arrest.

“Misdirected ~ To follow one’s own bliss is to be guided by the Divine Within, the true and reliable polestar… whereas to anticipate another’s needs and delights and by them to be guided creates a cosmic traffic jam that frustrates progress toward everyone’s destination.

…to be continued

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