Marika, Mabel and I spent last weekend at a friend’s cabin out of the heat of the desert. What a gift to drive two short hours north and be surrounded by tall, sweet pines, where the daytime temperature peaks in the mid-80’s and at night, it’s cool enough, with the windows open, to pull a blanket over my shoulders.
We arrived in the dark on Friday night, unpacked, made the bed and went to sleep soon after. In the morning, Marika took Mabel for a walk along the forest trail while I lounged in bed, happy to see all of the trees through the windows.
But the air was clear and crisp and even a little moist when the afternoon clouds gathered in with a promise of rain. We heard some far off thunder rolls, but the storm missed us.
We spent a lot of time just sitting on the deck, talking, not talking, watching the trees for birds. Nuthatches, chickadees and Stellar Jays flitted from branch to branch. We watched an acorn woodpecker pull insulation from a four inch hole in the side of the neighbor’s house. Ravens grawked overhead and a turkey vulture circled high above the trees.
I didn’t have my laptop with me so I couldn’t do any real work. A first for me. To just sit and enjoy the sounds and smells of where I was.
We did drive into town, population 2100 when everyone is there. There was a gas station, a restaurant, the Motel in the Pines, and a real estate office. Across the highway was a second restaurant and gas station, a small thrift store and the Saturday Farmer’s Market, which was really a craft fair with two food trucks.
Marika waited in the car with Mabel while I looked around. I chatted with two jewelry sellers and bought us a cup of dairy free mango sherbet, but the sun was high and it was warm, even in the shade.
We drove through the sleepy streets to find the small Lake Odell, hoping to see some more birds along the shore, but there were several families fishing and playing at the only parking area, so we kept driving. We took a short leash-free forest walk, but it was getting too warm so we headed back to the cabin.
We spent the afternoon on the deck, me writing and drawing, Mabel curled on the outdoor carpet and Marika scanning the trees for an elusive American goldfinch. She did see a red faced warbler, a first for her. She tried to get it to come back by playing its call on her iBird app.
I took the cushion from the broken chaise lounge and laid down on the deck to do my gentle yoga stretches. A cool, piney breeze blew across us.
We did nothing else. And that was everything. To just sit and be and say thank you.