The Calling of the Country

As humans, we are all multi-faceted and have layers.  All of us have different sides that change depending upon the situation or lighting.  While the core of us may stay the same, there are always surprising new things to learn about someone.

Many assume that because I have lived in New York, and Atlanta for many years, that I am a city dweller.  That the concrete streets and sounds of people and movement signal that I am at home.  Many are surprised to find that I am, very much, a country girl.

I grew up in the country, wild and free. As  child I ran as far as I could go, until I was so tired that I could not go any more. And still there were miles of wilderness to explore. The only rule was to be home by lunch or before dark.  There was no worry about crime, or kidnapping or any kind of danger.  Well, other than snakes or alligators, but they were easy enough to avoid.  I climbed trees, played in streams, jumped in the a=water and went where I wanted.  It was all safe.

I chased fireflies at night and feel asleep to the sound of frogs, crickets and cicadas.  I was free.  And it was wonderful.  We had goats and chickens and geese and dogs and cats and ducks, and everything but horses. And we took care of them every morning before school and every evening before dinner.

I would not trade my childhood for anything. Yes there are many opportunities in the city for jobs and houses and theater and many interesting things.  But the country feeds my soul. The sound of the woods, the sight of the trees, taking care of animals.  I love it all.  And one day, I will leave the city and return to the country.  It is calling.

I am tired of the hurry of the city. And that is the thing about writing. I can go where I want to go and still write.  Oh, the temptations of where whisper to me at night. And I answer in my dreams, planning now to turn into reality.  It is the calling of the country.

October Magic

It happens to me every October. I fall in love.  With the weather,with the temperatures, with the festivals, with the pumpkins, the sweaters I pull out that have been hidden since last winter,  with the  crisp, fresh air, with snuggling but he fireplace and with the possibilities.

The fact is that Fall is fun, it is magic, it is delicious.  It is when the blankets come out and the fuzzy warm socks are put on.  I love this time of year. It is when I feel the best and coziest. I love having company over in the fall, I love the cold morning and cool afternoons.

And this year, this fall, is full of promise. It is full of possibilities. As I plan and work to make the rest of the year the great and next year spectacular.  Fall just feels good. And so I enjoy the magic…

Regrettable Regrets

Regret is defined as feeling sad, repentant, or disappointed over (something that has happened or been done, especially a loss or missed opportunity). Tonight someone told me one of their biggest regrets. One day I hope to hear the story of that regret, but it made me think of my own life.

I have long said that I regret nothing, bu that is not rue.  It is simply rationalization that what has happened in my life, whatever I have done and said, whatever the consequences were or lost opportunities have been, they made me into who I am today.  I am complicated and flawed, but I still like how I am, so to change anything in the past, would be to change who I am presently.  And I would never want to do that.

Are there things that I would do differently if I had the chance? Absolutely.  But that is not the same as regret. If I knew then what I know now…I would hug my mother a lot longer than I did that last time.  And I would give her a glass of wine, take her outside and ask her those questions I wish I knew the answers to now.  I would hug my Father so tight, and would not have rested that Sunday, I would have gotten up early and spent that last day with him. Because I did not know that it would be the last day. And I would tell them both that I love them, just one more time. Outside of those things with my parents, I can;t think of anything I would change really.

Then why do we regret?  I don’t know.  Maybe it is the every human trait of running all the what-ifs through our head.  But would things have turned out any better if we had done things differently? We often assume that missed opportunities would have led to a better place, but would they have really?  We never think that maybe if we had gone out with that other person, or made a different decision, or taken that job, or whatever, that maybe things would have turned out worse.

Life takes us on a series of unexpected twists and turns. I have learned that life rarely turns out the way any of us thought, much less planned. And that’s OK.  Think of all the adventures we would miss if everything went the way we thought is was supposed to.  We might have fewer regrets, but we would also not have the life we do not, or be the people we are.

Mostly, I like my life and even the bad spots have made me into a better person. The key is to realize that things happen for a reason and have faith in that process.  I am whoever I am supposed to be, right at this moment.  I am were I am supposed to be, right at this moment. Those bad times –  the mistakes, the missteps, mishaps and failures have all taught me important lessons.  They have all been a part of a life well lived and well loved.

Truth be told, I am a risk taker, and there are few times when I have not taken the risk.  And I have never regretted the risks I have taken, even when they were mistakes.  But if the mistakes you have made turned you into the person you are now, can they really be mistakes? Maybe not.

So live more and regret less.  Life is short, take the risk. Make the call, take the job, travel to that place, do what it is that you really want to do. We must know that in our hearts, we did the best we could with what we knew or what we had. And most importantly, we must forgive ourselves to let go of the regrets.