Local beach weather has turned and become more interesting, with a slight promise of rain and thunder shower over night tonight. I guess I must go about and batten the hatches on my three operable skylights, just in case the weatherman’s predictions come true. I spoke yesterday with friends in South Padre Island, Texas, and Phoenix, Arizona, who moved away from central California to find a more affordable place to retire. Both say they miss this blessed, temperate weather, a refrain I’ve heard from so many who have moved away and cannot easily afford to return. The average winter temperature and the average summer temperature both diddle around the 70-degree mark on the Monterey Bay, which can often confuse my sense of which season it is in which I currently live.
A two-mile walk today along the beach felt not much different than that of one in February, except more people parked on towels and blankets on the sand. I should be glad I have persevered the urge to move elsewhere. When I hear of others moving away from here, I sometimes feel a tinge of jealousy, supposing in my own mind that they have found a better life for themselves elsewhere, and that I feel defeated that I am too set in my ways to seek any other than the same old weather routine I’ve known nearly all my life. I know I only need to study the nation’s current weather maps to appreciate my decisions to remain here, befriending the redwood forest and the cool waters of the bay.
Some days I expect this wonderfully predictable weather to provide me with all the contentment I would ever require in life. Just wake up, go outside, and listen to the rapturous songs emanating from my feathered friends who tuck in and out of the canopy of branches close by. Other days, I simply cannot blame birds or world conditions, or even the people who bump up against me and bruise the surface of my skin, for how I feel. I awake on occasion with I don’t know what else to call it but a bad attitude–feeling estranged from the world, eager to give up my ghost, and not finding agreement with even the tiniest and most agreeable events in my day. Today seemed to be one of those days when I’d have been better off to never even have bothered rolling out of bed.
Age seems to bring me moodiness, a frame of mind in which I get lost in my own unpleasant and complaining thoughts–no gratitude, no joy, no understanding or compassion for others. Some of these days appear to me as a big, black mindless blob of anxiety, where I am lost at sea in a storm of unknown strength and boundary. When I arrive here in my mind, I know it is time for me to do some serious reconsidering, some reconciling of how I might have arrived so quickly at such a point of emptiness and despair. Today I turned back to some of the writers I read who speak of mindfulness, and I became reminded by them of how it is that I have allowed my own consciousness to slip away from the present moment and into a realm of fear and inexpressible regret. I could not find the joy today in hardly a moment’s worth of breathing and living, but yet could not identify the source of my complaint.
I am amazed at how can I be fairly upbeat for days on end and suddenly feel as if I had tripped into a man hole along the sidewalk. This will change. It has to. I will look for the tiny voice inside that energizes my life and we will have a meaningful discussion about events of this day.