I had a hankering. I was really uncomfortable in my skin, in my town, in my head, all week. Anxiety, tears, overwhelm.
So, like I do, I headed west. Last time it was so soothing, so grounding, so perfect. Obviously I expected the same this go ’round. It’s why I went. I was teetering here; I assumed that when I got there, the wobbling would end and I could stand up straight again.
It didn’t happen quite as quickly as I had hoped. I mentally fidgeted on the drive, down at the river, hiking up the wash. I went back to my room late in the afternoon and tried to nap – I just needed to shut my brain off for a little while – but the sleep was restless, like when you drink caffeine too late in the day.
I sat under the stars in the hot tub. I took Elvis for a short walk around town. By 6pm I was in my room for good.
Vivid and unsettling dreams. Not nightmares, but I had enough anxiety running that my sleep was definitely restless.
Today, I still couldn’t relax. So out for another walk with the dog. I found a bench, on a hill, overlooking the tamarisk and the river. The red cliffs towered over me.
I watched Elvis play in the sand watched him chew on a piece of juniper bark. He was content. He was more relaxed than I have ever seen my anxiety ridden little man. And that’s when I felt the first tingle of having my feet land on the ground.
As I sat there, the sun finally began to warm up the air and the very first singular bird songs quietly began. I had to pause and listen to make sure that’s what I was hearing.
And then, a lone raven.
And it hit me: I am a wild creature. I am not a pet. I am not livestock.
I am a raven, not a chicken.
I am a singular creature of the desert, not of a herd, or a flock, or colony. I’m not happy to simply enjoy the green grass of my surroundings.
My range needs to encompass vast areas of wild country. As much as I appreciate the beauty of the ranches and farms around here, it’s not expansive enough for me.
And it’s much too tame.
I’ve been living with, and as if I am, livestock.
It’s a beautiful lifestyle – admirable – fulfilling – rigorous – satisfying.
But, it’s not me like I thought it might be.
I am of a different breed.
And I lose track of that and then my life goes all cattywumpus.
Note to self: be a raven.