A morning alone at the cottage. No breakfast. Only coffee and water and the buzzing of the 40-year-old refrigerator fueling me as I head straightaway into two years of sobriety, fourteen years of marriage, and another autumn that leads to months of cold, stories unfinished, travels not taken, amends not made.
The water will run. Light will rise. All of it continues or ends but does not wait. I know I don’t have another second, minute, hour, or day, that nothing is mine. And as the traffic rolls North and South on US23—people engaged in gears and motion, the in-between moments of life—I’m aware that the lake will ripple, rock, then settle to glass with or without my touch. The big cedars will get as big as they can get with or without my daytime dreams from the hammock they hold. And everything the grass and air and flowers have heard from me, they will keep.
Individual importance lies in our unimportance. This realization betters one’s chances for peace. Fighting, posturing, siding, and pretending—your wanting to belong to something bigger—is wasted effort, unless, of course, you recognize the wastefulness. If you look carefully to find the spinning wheels beneath people’s motives, actions, and desires, it becomes easy to stop, disconnect, take a breath and peel away the layers you’ve created year after year after year.
Everything aside from the moment I’m in is extra. There are plans. Lists. Hopes. But none of that is guaranteed. There is only the now. Writing while looking out the big window that shows me the green and the blue, and the red swing, and the firepit with tinder and wood piled pyramid style ready and waiting for the next easy evening when we’re all here. At our cottage. Whomever we are. Whenever we are. Unplugged, in the dark, under the stars.