Sometimes Being in the Moment Means Admitting You’d Rather be Elsewhere

We went from being submersed (literally AND metaphorically) in this:


Really, San Francisco? I mean…Really?

Yes, really. It’s a bitter pill to swallow that the most progressive places in California are all on the north coast.

During the drive back from the lake on our last day in Shasta County, I had the car radio tuned to what I consider nothing short of a miracle…KKRN, a new progressive public radio station broadcasting from my teeny tiny hometown.Β ( My teeny tiny, steadfast Libertarian town).Β Often I am delighted by moments of synchronicity when one turns on the radio, or hears a passing song, that unbelievably but undeniably speaks to one’s experience in that moment. On this particular morning, as we drove down out of the foothills and Fern fell asleep in the back, the first words I heard come over the airwaves were these…

“…A polygamist of place.”

The voice was Elizabeth Bradfield, a poet. She went on to talk about relationship to place, especially when uprooted from home. We develop deep connections with other tacks on the map, but just like the practice of polygamy, it is fraught with challenges.

What I noticed for myself, was what I decided a long time ago about monogamy…it might be hard, sometimes it might be boring, I might bump up against my inclination to bolt…but ultimately I want to deepen, into myself, into relationship, into intimacy, and if the backdoor is always open, one foot will always be exiting…. even if the rest of me is facing into the room.

I don’t want to be a polygamist of place anymore. I just can’t do it. I know where home is, and my heart wants to run to it like Billy Crystal does at the end of “When Harry Met Sally.”. Because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.

That’s really all I can manage to say this morning, as we re-combobulate after a week from being away. I’ve got some culture shock to deal with, and right now I will admit with chagrin that I am dealing with it by reminiscing of where I was…not by sinking into where I am. What better way to escape the moment (and the heavy fog in the sky) than to share some glimpses of one of my favorite places on earth? The hotsprings along the Pit River.

The drive up 299. Wait is that…?

Yes, yes it is. I love rural humor.

The walk in. Fern learned to say “cow” this week, as well as “moo” and probably would have run into the herd to nurse off the heifer if we hadn’t held her back.

Our old friend Chicory
California Wild Rose...more about this lovely edible to come...

Can’t see the pool for the trees.

Jeff and Fern getting ready to dip.

The pool.


Shasta Lily. 8 feet tall with flowers that would seem to hover in the trees like butterflies.


And speaking of butterflies. One of the many wonderful things about the springs is the diversity of flutterbys that come to the water for the minerals.

While we were sitting in the springs, a little blue butterfly perched on my head and…took a nap! Like often happens with a cat on your lap, I felt obliged to sit still until it was done with its repose. Except it seemed to show no sign of moving. Even when I finally got out of the water and startled it away, it came back a few moments later, hitching a ride down the path. I felt lucky.

A hipster runs through it…

Like Mama like daughter, Fern loves her no-glass glasses. These yellow frames were my sunglasses when I was a kid and, completely unprompted by us, she latched onto them and dons them on whenever sunglasses make their appearance.

It doesn’t matter so much if they are upside down or not…

…as long as the joy makes you dance.

They also provide ample opportunity to practice the Myspace Duck Face.

I cross my fingers that she doesn’t get my atrociously poor eyesight.

But it is encouraging that my hand-me-down genes might suit her.

And now to go out into this urban world, the butterflies of place being my friends and neighbors. I love my community, the intellectual inspiration, the daring experiments in local food and commerce…from these things I source connection while my heart dreams elsewhere of summer skies, of a hawk with the sun shining through its wings always on the edge of sight.

A few more posts before we leave again on Tuesday will be forthcoming. Have a wonderful weekend!


12 thoughts on “Sometimes Being in the Moment Means Admitting You’d Rather be Elsewhere

  1. I kinda think being blind as a bat sometimes makes us truly appreciate the blessing of corrected vision. I can’t see a hand past my face without lenses. When Fern showed up in your yellow sunglasses, it made me feel I’d go around smiling the rest of the day — and I probably shall! πŸ™‚ Have you used ever used chicory to make coffee? I’m familiar with is some dreadful stuff called “8 o’clock” that I believe is made with chickory, and only tried years ago, but it was pretty gross! Maybe there is a way to make it less so.

    1. i wrote about chicory a couple of weeks ago, and my take on chicory coffee was very similar to yours! i think the taste is okay, but let’s not insult coffee by comparing the two πŸ˜‰

  2. Good Goddess. So much beauty on so many levels. I can completely understand being pulled back by the heartstrings!!! Thank you for sharing, Mary. XO

  3. Well if I were in your shoes I’d take Shasta County over SF County in a heartbeat. Your hometown has so many beautiful places to visit you don’t need a TV or computer to keep you entertained. I’ll take nature over man-made please.

  4. i couldn’t figure out the rural humor- i stared and stared…. then i moved on to ogling the beautiful lilies and ferns. πŸ˜‰ i love the radio synchronicities of life. have fun recombobulating (love it). xo

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