Fall Foliage, Resilience, Halloween Crafts, and a Tree named Loralei.

I just wanted to start this post by referencing a meme I saw the other day that had vivid, Kaleidoscopic swirls that reminded me of the Mandelbrot set. I think they were meant to represent energy or the chakra system. In bold letters it said, “get in loser we’re healing and falling in love with life again,” This is where I feel I’m at right now and it feels rather sweet.

I just love the transitional seasons. Autumn and Spring are my favorite. These are also my favorite times to go out into the desert. I may have mentioned that I had plans to go to Capital Reef for a fall trip but due to some unforeseen circumstances my husband and I had to renegotiate our plans and we ended up taking a day trip over the Alpine scenic loop to Cascade Springs and Sundance instead.

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Yes, Sundance. Robert Redford’s famed resort, home of the Sundance Institute and catalyst for the Sundance film festival. I spent a lot of my growing years camping in American Fork Canyon. I lost a family member to that canyon. There’s a curve there where my uncle went off and took his last breath after rolling his truck and being pinned in the water.  There’s also an old mine I used to camp near as a child, where I’d collect sparkly rocks and wade in the creek with a walking stick for hours while remaining wary of snakes.

On the Sundance side, I used to go with my grandmother to watch theatre in the pines and we would stop to eat at a Swiss Chalet at the base of the world’s steepest tram until an avalanche wiped the whole thing out. My husband and I had a few dates attending the Bluebird Cafe concert series where we would listen to music and storytellers. Don’t get me wrong, I love the area but it is not what it used to be, or maybe I am not what I used to be.

The splendor of the loop and the scenery are hardly unmatched, they are so very loved, and that has been the issue, they are loved to death. As fate would have it, my parents went to Capital Reef, and to be honest, that is one of the best kept secrets that has not been engulfed by the grand circle. They found a lovely gulch hike but all camping spots were sparse and by reservation only. My parents, even as early birds, did not get the worm. All campsites, although vacant, said RESERVED, RESERVED.

My husband and I would have met the same fate in our sheep shack if we had made the trip, but that was not our plight. Our plight was trying to take in the sights on the Alpine scenic loop with bumper to bumper traffic. Note to self: never, ever, do the Alpine scenic loop on a weekend again. I would play hookie and do it on a weekday.  That would be my advice if this were a travel blog, but this is not a travel blog.

Sigh…I am not self important. Everyone has a right to take in the beauty and grandeur of the alpine mountains as much as I do. Thus, come the nuances of navigation with  increased population, and the simple task of not becoming agitated with others.

My daughter and I did fall in love with a tree that she named Loralei. She was a special tree. My daughter Ember asked, “can we come back and visit this tree all the time?” It sounded good to me because while thousands of people were taking in the foliage it was as if Lorelai was a secret that was hers and mine.

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My husband always teases me that I am caught in a 1970s time warp, and I am. Things seemed less crowded then. We  have had this conversation many times, about growing up on the tail end of “the good old days.” In my husband’s childhood nostalgia, “we had joy, we had fun. We had seasons in the sun.” Me? I am still caught on the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald  or riding in a truck cab somewhere as a kid with no seatbelt  marveling at the windsurfers on Deer Creek at sunset while Christopher Cross’s Sailing ⛵️ played over the radio. It is a childhood memory I come back to a lot.

Here is the thing about Deer Creek, I had no interest in my husband whatsoever when we first started dating. We were on a third date which is a wonder. Shane asked if I would like to to go fishing, and I brought a book along to read. He threw his line in the water, And on the first cast, he had a bite in a matter of seconds. He was catching fish left and right. I remember after the date, we took some of his fish  to my condo and he showed me how to clean them in my sink, but he had a dull knife.

There was just something about the way my husband’s hands clumsily made their way through through thick fleshy silver and white underbelly  that just felt so primitive, yet familiar to me, and made me want to worship them. I was as stunned as anyone when it hit me that I could actually see myself with this guy. Months later, he proposed to me by tying a diamond ring to a fishing pole. He did it right there in American Fork Canyon, along the Alpine loop, and we were married at Capital Reef on a bridge.

I should  have known things were changing for the Reef, when a tour bus showed up at our wedding. Most brides would have spent the morning pruning.  My husband and I went for a morning hike that day to watch the sun come up. I remember lying on a flat rock in a gulch, under an arch looking at the sky and all these sparrows kept flying over me. I lied still and the flutter of their beating wings made a sound like propellers that would swoosh right over me like a thousand tiny pinwheels. Their delicate origami qualty did not match the power of the wind that they carried. It felt so magical.

This picture was taken on that day. It has a where is Waldo feel to it. Where is Rachelle? So I did deliver on bringing one photo of Capital Reef to this post.

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You would think this blog post was headed for yeah we got married and lived happily ever but it isn’t. We didn’t live happily ever after. These last five years have been hard as F. I am just now mildly making a comeback from a transition that did not really transition. I hope. So that leads me back to the meme I saw today, “ Get in loser, we are healing and falling in love with life again.”

I have not been my best self. I have not been functioning at full capacity, and ever since I graduated, I have been imposter syndroming myself to death as a mother and a writer. Throw that all in a blender and add these last few years with all that is happening in the news and this country, and it has felt like quite the cocktail.

Okay, so there is a lesson to be learned here. What is it? One word has come to mind, which is resilience.

For some reason, I have had a hard time celebrating resilience. On the one hand, I should be celebrating the fact that I had my “I just don’t care anymore breakthrough” and it has really taken a lot to get to my “to hell with ‘em” (any and all haters) threshold.

I could not peg why refusing to be bothered by critics and haters did not feel as good and as liberating as it should have been. Heaven knows I needed to cast off that burden.

Surprisingly, the answer came with an interview I saw in a preview for a documentary involving two British Royals, embarrassingly enough. Okay, apparently Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had a trip to Africa.

In the documentary preview, Meghan Markle mentioned the quality of “developing a stiff upper lip” and how it’s also very sad because you lose a little something of yourself in that process too.

Ah…so she pegged what my mind had grasped but could not put into words. That question of WHY resilience, while liberating, does not feel as glorious as it ought to be. Resilience is somewhat of a plan B for the plan A that did not work out as you had hoped and imagined.

Acquiring resilience DOES come with a loss. A loss of a dream perhaps, a letting go of expectations, or a hard look at reality staring you in the face. So, you put on a coat of armor, and hope that it is strong enough to allow everything to bounce off.

I am feeling this with the news cycle too, and I admit, everything that is happening in our country, with our military, and our foreign policy, and having my children tangled up in the military has knocked me for a loop for sure. More so than my last blog post, which is why I have been awful quiet on here.

I am getting used to this madness, as if it is the new normal, and I don’t want to. My daughter Ember and I spent the day with that tree she named Loralei, and I just had to believe there was something bigger than all of this. I had been forcing myself to run every day and the endorphins have been helpful. It is weird how just running alone can change one’s outlook, even though nothing has changed.

I realize I am not in the political arena right now, and I have to pray for those who are. I almost want to say, “someone wake me when it is over and tell me what the fallout is.” It seems like everyone in the arena is doing everything they can, pulling out all the stops, initiating  all the tricks, and ultimately, grasping for straws. I saw an article that stated our country could possibly face another government shutdown in November as another possible dividing and diversionary tactic. Whether or not that is a true scenario for the future, the message has been clear. America needs to buckle down and batten down the hatches, a storms a coming. This impeachment inquiry IS the catalyst. This and the 2020 Presidential election.

I would say this is a good time to resurrect a yoga practice I let falter years ago. I have also been tapping into my creative side and over killing it for Halloween. No lie, my plan is to craft and craft until October 31st like I have got nothing better to do or like there are not bigger things out there.  I have been trying really hard to use what I have, and to be as resourceful as possible, while trying to rethink single use  plastic for Halloween. Okay folks, whatever happened to old sheets, hand me down costumes, and decorating real, honest to goodness pumpkins from the earth and calling it good?

Anyway, I will be blogging about that and here is a little sneak peak of what I have been up to. Some of it involves flowers from my daughter’s wedding, tomato cages, tape, a fitted sheet for a tablecloth, real pumpkins, making a flag out of towels, some old tulle and ribbon I had…yeah I have gone a little crazy, but it is a happy crazy.

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So, there is much more to come, because you know I am blogging again, getting some endorphins, creating, becoming resilient in my own warped way, and for some reason, finding it a little humorous that maybe there is something happening to me on some type of physiological  or chakra energy level saying, “Get in loser, we’re healing and falling in love with life again,” Until next post!

Rachelle Whiting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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