Open Doors

 

I watch the fawn and it's mother, grazing in the short, scrubby, yellow grass beyond the house. They don't seem to mind our watching them, although they are wary. I wonder if we thought of them as tonight's dinner, would they notice? Would they skitter and jump into the trees just from the energy of those thoughts?
 
I am acutely aware of my human-ness here. My body can't help but align itself to the energy of the land, since the land here is largely unmasked, mostly uncovered from the human surfacing of concrete, asphalt, metal and hewn wood. It's as though my body remembers what it is, and can't help but be aware of other bodies, other kinds of beings sharing this space.
 
The quail family, mom, dad (with his spectacular, but little, crest) and little quaillets (as Ruth names them) walk all over this land, pecking at the ground, and surveying the territory, presumably for danger. The little ones follow closely, or even run a little ahead, but it seems they know not to stray to far from their parents.
 
Spring has moved into full summer, the sun hot, shade still comfortable, and the insects make themselves known - a few looking for blood, but most moving from flower to flower, sipping on nectar, and unsuspectingly (or not?) spreading pollen to make new butterfly bushes, new jasmines, or new lavenders around the land.
 
It is quiet here - so quiet that my thoughts are too loud, and I feel the desire to quiet them as well, so I can hear what it is that the land has to offer me. It's as if each day I live in meditation, my mind quiet, thoughts moving only occasionally, mostly I am just aware of the present moment, the brush of wind along my bare arm as I sit on the porch, the shush of the leaves as they move in the same breeze, the tiny, light footsteps of the lizard moving across the driveway in front of the house. 
 
When I take the inevitable and necessary drive back into "civilization" (why is it called that?), I feel the human surfacing quickly increase, as I move from Sonoma, to Marin, and then finally to Oakland. My connection with the land grows dim, and I put up the numerous guards I have set across the doors of my soul to protect it from the overstimulation of people. 
 
I do remember why I left land, why I left the open doors (literally and figuratively), why I left the free flow of quiet into my heart. I don't regret it one bit. There are ways it has fed me and given me a kind of healing only possible in places where there are more people than there are trees.
 
I have come to realize that the incessant pressure of people, the loud booming music from cars, the gunshots in the night, the sirens and helicopters, the constant buzz and whine and the energetic assault of the sadness, desperation and anger of a million people has contributed to my illness, and forced me to put up so many internal walls that my life has become narrower and smaller than it should be. My time of closed doors may be coming to an end, and perhaps I must return to where the quiet flows freely.