River Medicine

The first time we went out on the water, BF spent more time looking back and stopping for me than he did enjoying the adventure. For the inconvenience, on this time around, I assured him he could enjoy the trip without worrying about me, now that I knew the course of the river from launch to landing. Besides, with his shirtless back facing me, his sculpted shoulders busy at work, I had someone quite pleasant to focus on.

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New River, NC

We planned for one more day on the New River; the cool, clear water beckoning us to enter and clear our souls. My soul was a bit heavy, having to bear the uncomfortable feeling of entering a home in distress. We didn’t know anything about our host family’s marital split prior to our arrival, and even more so, I didn’t know I had to be on the defense as the only woman among related men. For me the water was liberation from the snarls and scowls of a wounded male, a free moment to tune to nature and scale off the superficiality of man.

A meandering was in order.

Depending on which data you reference, the New River in the Appalachian Range is one of the oldest rivers in the world. To ask the locals you would be certain to believe it is the oldest. I’m not here to contest any of that data, but I will say this: from water to stone to tree to sand, the entire universe of that river felt primordial.

Pushed off and well into our course, I smiled, looking through clear water at the mica-flecked stones along the bottom. BF wondered if they were flecks of actual gold. I told him how mica is used in cosmetics to offer that under skin “glow.” In the moment of that interaction, I felt the goddess Isis widening her giving wings over the both of us. As much as I wanted to share, “Isis is here!” I remember the unfortunance of the double meaning, and hold back.

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Mountain river water – clear, cool and fresh!

Our small barques wound their way over pure water, hugged by rocky shores with faces almost a billion years old, deciduous trees lording over us as the sky laced between their green fingers. The sun loved us enough to warm our shoulders bronze. A breeze, like a subtle tongued kiss to the neck, won over my frazzled spirit, and finally, I could relax. My stroke through the water intensified, my shoulders winding fluidly as I searched out the deep pockets. In the shallows, I dug with might and determination, “No! I won’t get out of this boat!” BF was far forward. I sensed he’s on his own journey, and let him be.

At the thought to allow my love to float along and be with the river, I came upon the most curious sight. Bear in mind the north-flowing current was constant but not strong that day. The water itself was cold, but not unbearable. As I paddled to the right of a patch of moss, I saw a yellow and black snake completely erect, protruding from the center of the moss. I slowed to admire this behavior. I don’t know of a snake that would sun in the center of a river, let alone do it standing up! Then I noticed he started to wave, along with the current, but I took it as a “Hello!” A glow of yellow-gold light, filled with good, fortifying medicine, swaddled me. Oh Snake, I prayed, thank you for your gift. I kept looking back at that vertical creature until the river pulled me from view. The entire time, Snake stayed in that tall position in the moss. Imbued with blessing, I hurried towards my love.

The New River curled towards our landing. We came across a black and white border collie, feverishly digging a hole along the shore. As there was a makeshift swing nearby, we figured he was a member of that riverfront household. The collie, more preoccupied with his find than us, leaped from his post then climbed up the hill ostensibly towards his home.

But he didn’t go home.

This collie followed us the remaining few miles of our trip, swimming between the kayaks, landing on either shore, taking off into the woods; yet he’d always return. I heard the words, “Wolf Medicine” echo between my ears, then, experienced an unavoidable snag in the river. My kayak landed on rocks. I watched as the collie and BF continued, then realized, Spirit wants me to hang back. From my landing it was abundantly clear, this wolf descendant and this mountain-spirited man were meant to meet. Side by side, Wolf and Man paddling, quietly as to not disturb the existing serenity. It was overwhelming to behold. To the mountain I prayed, “thank you for his Wolf medicine” before returning the barque to a deeper pool of water and paddling on.

The topless silo signaling our stop, our wolf company disappeared into the nearby tree farm. On our landing, BF found a perfectly flat, round stone which he pocketed. I helped myself to a larger stone, the width of my hand, so that I could enjoy ancient river medicine anytime.

When Man weighs you down, let Nature lift you up.

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Bobby also loves the river!

 

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Morning River Walk

Mountain Dog

In a day’s time, Roberto Tiberius has gone from puppylike couch dog to doe-startling Rotweiljäger. It’s the mountain air, I tell ya, it has filled his canine lungs with the remembrance of his natural abilities, the truest call of the wild.

Bobby kayaked with us up the New River, tussled with a HUGE year old Griffon-Labrador mix, chased a birthday girl and her friends all over the lawn…who is this guy? We’ve been together since June 2012 and I feel I’m still learning about him.

This morning, we meandered up the road by our cabin for a Sunday morning constitutional. It was a sweaty climb to the top and a relieving bounce back down to the cabin. Bobby led the way back.

Suddenly, a fury of barks and growls emanated from the cabin area. A scared-shitless wide-eyed white-tailed doe bounded from the trees onto the road where I stood. I quickly entered into a “don’t trample me” mantra while sharing Bob’s barks to warn her to stay away from me.

Bobby clipped at her like a gambler chasing a sure bet, delicately curbing her down below. He took off into the treeline. I knew he was alright because he was still barking. By the time I had changed clothes, Bobby was back in the cabin.

I ♥ my dog.

 

View From My Coffee Cup

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Todd, Watauga County, North Carolina

Nothing more refreshing

than a cool kiss on the neck

from the mild mountain breeze

welcoming us back

to where we call Escape

to what they know as

Treasure.

-Von Simeon 07.16.16

 

The Heat Is On

My hornets are thirsty.

I can tell this morning as the long legged, wide winged, red boy who lives in the nest in the upper join of our front door hovers in front of the A/C unit, waiting for the fan to spit up the condensation building up from our constant usage.

Yep, it’s that time of year. Three-digit utility bills. Constant moistness, especially in the naughty bits. For me, it’s a little more detrimental, as a new medication in my treatment plan requires me to, and I quote, “avoid becoming too hot or exposed to heat too long.” These mental health practitioners in Florida are absolute geniuses.

But that’s how it goes when you are depending on sliding-scale, high-traffic, short-timed resources to get healthy. Things fortunately are going to change for me next month in the insurance department, so let’s all hope this means I can receive better quality treatment for my condition.

Knowing what I went through this time of year in 2015, I’m scared to overheat, literally, scared. BF is concerned about the rising costs of cooling the house, as any responsible neurotypical should. But I’d so rather pay a $100 utility bill then try to pay $800 for an ambulance ride because I overheated. Dems be da breaks..

The unit has kicked on, so Red Boy and his suitemates can get their morning drink on before heading off to terrorize children. I managed to sleep in, but awoke with a dull headache and a very hot spine. This week I’ve been on the go; while impressive since I’m still dealing with insomnia, I’m not doing myself any favors by not resting. Today then, I dedicate to staying still and cool. I’ll follow Red Boy’s cue and drink ice cold water. Certainly, going to avoid the outdoors.

The lesson was learned hard last summer. I implore you, neuroatypical especially, to be careful in the heat this summer. Don’t deny yourself the cool you can afford. Remember, you’re not good to anybody dead. 🙂

Happy Friday all!

Two Plates Two Bowls Two Glasses

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This is where/I don't live anymore/because LOVE lives somewhere else./So I go./This is 'goodbye'.

Today the lake water has taken on a pumice hue. Ripples close in like busy worker ants towards the inlet, dumping froth along the coastline. Bitter, the air, the overnight drop in temperature simultaneously welcome and abhored. This morning instead of sipping a cup of coffee I puff on my glass bowl. There’s much work to do, but a cold front means stiff joints and I simply cannot lift couches and move TV stands without healing smoke to start.

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Bobby's favorite activity was to sit here and watch the water fowl.

A commotion across the room distracts me from the lake. The grey flannel blanket undulates madly, then melts into the mattress. I return to nature-gazing with a smile on my face, thinking of the fiery Ace of Wands Spirit played the other day. Lust; Fire; Passion. Through the Two of Swords Spirit told me, ‘turn that big brain of yours off and let love happen!’ Oh that it is, for sure. I did pull the Princess of Swords. Unfinished struggles. Uncertain proceedings. It was a message about my health. Yes, I nod as I inhale, we’re gonna be experts in self-care this year.

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Kitchen, done!

There’s furniture to get rid of, boxes to pack. Walls to paint back to standard white. There wasn’t much hung for decoration until just this past year. Four years at this address, but I only felt like nesting once I had a relationship…oh I get it now. The Ace of Wands had always been in play. Good one, Spirit!
Down to two plates, two bowls, two glasses. Two houses will condense to one, and hearts will grow three-fold. Goodbye Southside, hello Suburbia!
Time to wake the sleeping beast…

Treading The ‘Burbs

Today is my Saturday. A grande bowl of Frosted Flakes and a whole banana kicks it off right! My dietary choices, the reward for a completed mile under the blaze of a Florida morning sun. Yes, even on days off the body should be conditioned; I’m a proponent of that! My trusty walking buddy, Roberto, happily dons his turquoise harness as he takes the lead. Smart little guy; our first full week living in the suburbs and he knows which direction we’re going to pad our feet along. In the unfiltered glow I notice the brown tufts of fur which give his black hind quarters a cool, conflicting pattern. Six years old now, so white fluffs are starting to burst back there as well.

Under his feet I note the pressure washed sidewalks and driveways, cumulus clouds drawn specifically from property line to rest of property line, beautiful little curlicues screaming, “Don’t tread here!” It’s easy to tell which houses are up on their atmospheric artwork and those whom allow Nature to make her mark.

The next thing I notice is, no one’s out with me. It’s 8am, where are the other daywalkers? At the Treehouse the place buzzes with dog walkers, bus catchers, gym rats, the whole shebangy bang. Here? I can practically hear the flowers sing about cats and rabbits. Just as I actualize my aloneness, a lovely display of fabric hanging from a beige stucco home unfurls. One is a black flag; another a yellow one, baring the well known “Don’t Tread On Me” icon. Ah. Tread lightly, little dog; we’re amongst score settlers!

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Gadsden flag

We get to a point along the walkway where Bob decides to cross the street. How rude am I, wearing Ray Bans while his big brown eyes squint painfully. The sun must hit him like the very first sip of freshly brewed coffee not quite cooled off for safe consumption. Bob leads us under the trees, into the shade, and I marvel at what I miss: trees.

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Yes, my special home was once flanked by two oak trees until the property manager decided to cut them down. They’re gone but I can’t stop calling the place the Treehouse. The suburbs have lots of oak, Bobby reminds, as he swings a right, then a left, then a familiar right towards our new home.

Playing With Shadows: Roser Park, St. Petersburg