Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Sweet Smell of Simple.

There is no washer or dryer in my three-room cabin here in Elgin, Arizona where I am staying to work on my writing this month, and that is no hardship. I didn't bring many clothes because I knew I'd have little need for outfit changes here on the ranch. I did pick up a pair of black yoga pants at the Walmart in Sierra Vista the day I arrived, and I have actually laundered those in the kitchen's porcelain sink, and hung them, and some wet bath towels, to dry on the green nylon clothesline, strung between two aluminum posts out back. I love the smell of nature's perfume---mountains, forests, fields---in the fibers after clothes have been drying on the line all day. This practice reminds me that I don't have a clothesline back at my condominium in Rhode Island, and the neighbors would probably pitch a fit if I aired anything from my fire escape overlooking our parking lot. I do have a stacked electric washer/dryer unit tucked in a utility closet in the master bathroom that I rarely use because I'm not a clotheshorse back home either. I am a simple girl, at home in jeans, tee-shirts, and work-out clothes. I expect to make the transition from designer apartment mortgagor to van dweller with relative ease!

I'm not sure when I fell out of love, favor, and touch with fashion and material possessions. I have a sense that I simply turned my attention a few degrees left of center and fell in love instead with the natural world around me. The birds and beasts I encounter daily don't care what I am wearing when I open the door to greet them in the morning. When I was still drinking alcohol, I used to take my bottle of Merlot into my home office, shut the door, and order, indiscriminately, whole pages from the latest Talbots catalog. I know now, nearly a decade later, that I was suffering from a soul sickness that no bottle, no new outfit, could remedy. I needed, and blessedly discovered, a spiritual solution. That solution allows me, today, to show up here on the page, out there in the real world, and alone with myself, with an inside that matches my outside---simple, open, and eager to engage with you and others.

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