Thursday, March 18, 2010
Fumbling in the Dark
I found myself aware of something at 5 am this morning that I normally don’t question. As a result of moving the clocks ahead, my mornings are now significantly darker when I go outside. What struck me today was that it was also totally impossible to see as I tried to get dressed in my bedroom. There had been a brief alteration of my routine over the last couple of weeks , and I didn’t realize its effect until things went back to normal.
For many years, so as not to wake up my husband, I’ve been used to getting dressed in the dark. I leave my clothes neatly stacked up in order next to my bed so I can quickly pull them on without looking at them. I always feel for the tags on the back of my pants and shirts so I don’t get them on backwards. It’s never occurred to me that putting on my clothes this way is inconvenient, difficult or annoying. Until today. This says a lot about me, I think.
My husband has just returned from a lengthy business trip. During the time he was away, I was able to wake up, turn on the light next to my bed and see what I was doing when I got dressed. I could be spontaneous. I didn’t have to plan ahead. I didn’t have to feel if everything was going on in the right direction. It was liberating. So, now that he’s home and things are back to “normal”, I found myself fumbling around in the dark again. I had forgotten to prepare for this situation, so I couldn’t find anything I needed. Eventually, I resorted to turning on the flashlight that I keep on my nightstand. Of course, this woke up the hibernating bear that was sleeping in my bed. Growling ensued.
It made me consider how often we do things by rote and never question the discomfort that it causes us. I haven’t written anything here on my blog since we had all the flooding over the weekend. We got five inches of rain in one day, and it rocked my world. The basement flooded. The garage where I store my hay flooded. Both stalls in the barn flooded. Trees came down in my neighbor’s yard and blocked our road. The only good news was that we didn’t lose our electricity. The bad news was it just kept raining and blowing. Naturally, my husband was out of town. He has an uncanny way of missing all these big weather events around here.
Five hundred and fifty pounds of wood pellets later, the barn still is oozing up water when the horses step in the front of their stalls. Luckily, they have very large stalls, with doors at both ends. We’ve changed the routine so they eat in the back instead of the front. It’s disoriented Siete but not Silk. Occasionally, with old age, we become more adaptable. Siete hates being in the barn right now, and as soon as I open the door to the corral and the pasture, she rushes to dry land. Every day, I go out to shovel and invent new ways for the water to drain. It’s a lot like fumbling around in the dark.
Sometimes, it doesn’t take much to shift the balance. I realized that we can choose not to be frustrated and open ourselves to new possibilities. As I stumbled downstairs to make a pot of coffee, I came up with the brilliant idea that tomorrow, I would try getting dressed in the bathroom.