I had a lot of *stuff* on my mind Saturday, and I decided the best thing to do was to run down to the Gulf, flop out on the sand, close my eyes and just listen to the pounding surf.
The little ladies could run and play in the water, and I'd watch them, breathing in and out until it was all better...
So I threw on my running gear and took off around the neighborhood instead.
There's a eucalyptus tree in one of the yards here, and it is the most amazing sight. I'm totally nearsighted, and at times my lenses get out of place throwing everything into a Monet-style relief. Saturday the tree seemed to grow in a haze of bluish-silver but as I got closer, I could make out the round leaves.
I think eucalyptus is the coolest tree--it's so strange and alien-looking, and I want one in my yard so bad.
Two doors down is this incredibly annoying little black and white dog that chases me, teeth bared, barking like the house is on fire the whole way from that driveway to the end of the cul-de-sac and back to eucalyptus yard.
Little over a year ago, an old man shot a dog in our neighborhood. He claimed it was chasing him and threatening to bite him, and it was a big stink--so big it made the paper.
I read the story one morning after it happened. The rage and sorrow of the young couple who owned the dog and claimed it would never hurt anyone, the defensiveness and embarrassment of the old man who insisted the dog chased him into his yard and wouldn't let him leave his house, the neighbors who explained they didn't let their sons go near that yard because the dog had bit one of them...
Of course, being a writer, I was in all their heads imagining their emotions and mental dialogues.
Two days later when firehouse dog chased me (again), I thought of that story.
LTM: Go away little dog before somebody shoots you.
FD: Bark! Bark! Bark! snarl snarl... Bark! Bark!
LTM: Find a happy place, find a happy place.
Now, a year later, I'm friends with FD's owner. I like her very much but I'm still not sure how I feel about her owning such a pest. I try not to judge pet owners by their pets, but it's so hard...
Continuing on Saturday, I passed a house where an elderly gentleman once squirted me with his garden hose as I jogged past. I jumped and then giggled the rest of my run.
Later that winter (jogging again) I saw an ambulance at his house and watched as they rolled him out on a gurney and took him away. I never knew his name, but his house is for sale now.
As I rounded the last curve and headed back to the house, I thought of the Gulf again, and again I felt the ongoing helplessness at the oil that's filling her body and threatening to kill her and everything in her.
I thought of all the times I ran down to the shore to sit and listen, letting the breeze blow on my face until all the stress was gone. Then, when it got too hot, I'd jump into the salty water and splash around with the kids.
Where will I go to release the stress and find inspiration now?