Monday, May 11, 2015

A Dose of Gratitude from the Drainage Ditch

Our new house overlooks a drainage canyon -- or an arroyo, as they're called in Spanish. It might not sound like something to be grateful for, but it is.

Old house, corner chaos.
I've been pretty unproductive and on edge lately. When i look at the root causes of things, I think the old house was jangling my nerves something fierce. First and foremost was its positioning on a corner, where not one but two streets' worth of loud engines were constantly on the move... as were a steady stream of kids coming to and fro, yelling and tossing rocks into the mango tree. Then there were the neighbors' roosters and their warren of hens, cackling, crowing and just generally kicking up a cacophony at any hour of the day.

In the afternoons the sounds would rise to such a crescendo that i thought i would lose my mind. It killed my productivity and made my blood boil. I started to dream about becoming a hermit, living in the woods and never talking to anyone again. I practically lived like a hermit, because going out of those walls meant even more chaos, on top of the chaos i couldn't escape even inside the walls. It was getting hellish.

New house, colonial quiet.
But now. If you're sitting on the sofa of the new house, you look out at a patina of green. Trees grow tall from the bottom of the arroyo and spread their verdant leaves across the view. It's nice from there.

Way down below, a bright green riverette snakes from in front of the house to the side, signaling phosphates are in the water. Goats feed on the trash that's been spread in the bottom of the arroyo from the last big rain. But from the sofa, you don't see any of that. You don't hear anything but cicadas and the occasional dog barking -- usually mine. There are screens on the windows to keep out said cicadas. There are kitchen cabinets to keep out the dust -- even though there's less of that with no street out front. And no diesel engines either.

It is far from perfect, but it is an absolute oasis compared to our last place. I think i can do this for a couple more months.

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There's so much to be grateful for, and knowing anything can be taken away at any time only makes me all the more grateful. Especially in the face of stories like Kali's. She's raising funds to help her get custody of her eldest daughter. If you can help, i know she could use it...

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