Saturday, August 29, 2015

Stand calm in the wind

Beautiful, blustery day on Mt. Tabor
Anxiety's been at me for the last several days. Chewing on me like a nasty, evil-tempered old dog gnawing on a bone.

That's the way I've come to think about it --about anxiety. It is something apart from me. Something that prowls around the periphery of my consciousness, lurking, waiting, ready to strike.

I don't know these berries... do you?
What if I fall? What if I fail? What if I am not all that I should be? The rational mind knows that there are no answers for these questions. But anxiety will not let them be dismissed.

So I took pilgrimage to Mount Tabor

The air was both muggy and blustery, a rare combination in these parts. Heavy clouds blew south to north across the sky like chastened sheep, fat for the slaughter. As we ascended the mountain, we passed through invisible pockets of calm, folds in Tabor's skirts where the wind did not reach. There, the air was calm as death and not a blade of grass stirred. It was strange to stand quiet in these areas and listen to the sighing boughs of Douglas-firs higher up or lower down. Maples flapped shredded leaves at the wind as it passed.

The giant sequoia that stands watch over Reservoir #6 was in one such pocket. A solemn, tall figure of peace in the middle of a raging battlefield. We guessed that it might be 150 years old. Giant sequoias may stand 1200 years or more, so it is still the morning of life for this tree.

Giant Sequoia overlooking Reservoir #6
It was calming to think that this tree, some 5 or 6 hundred years from now, might recall this time. This time when the reservoir lay at its feet. (It seems certain that the tree will outlast the reservoir, no?) This time when the wind would howl. And it might even remember the other trees that grew here, all those centuries before. And maybe the great tree might even remember the man that would now and then pass by, worrying and muttering, and flailing his hands. Flapping them like the maples do with their leaves when the wind blows hard.
Arbor-grown watermelons
On the way home, we saw a watermelon garden. The gardener had trained the vines to scale an arbor. The melons hung like huge, green grapes, unmoved by the wind.

When I got home, I stood for a moment and listened to the wind howling outside. Rage as it might, it couldn't reach me where I stood, in the living room of the home I share with my wife.

Peace.

1 comment:

"Shusli" Baseler said...

But what IF the wind blows the watermelon off the vines?! Then what?

Not to take the anxiety lightly. I suffer from it myself. No longer need Ativan. I've learned techniques to ride out the panic attacks and recognize the physical signs of anxiety.

Wishing you and yours peace.