I have said goodbye to most of my people in Tucson, so this week has been one of saying goodbye to places. I moved out of my apartment and moved in with friends (“thanks, guys!”), gave away or donated everything except a forty-four-pound suitcase and a backpack, and visited some of my favorite places.
For special place number one, I hiked on top of Mount Lemmon (9,000-ish feet high). Note that is “on top,” not “to the top.” I love hiking and being outside, but twenty-seven miles is way too far for me . I met a group of sociable Canadians on the trail, and they obligingly took my picture where I was meditating on top of a rock.
Okay, truth check: actually I wasn’t meditating; I was posing for a picture. But I was looking off into the horizon before that, which is meditative for me. That counts, right? In my defense, hiking is definitely a grounding/centering activity for me. Reconnecting with nature gives me a contemplative feeling and helps me quiet my mind, which I needed badly amidst all the adventure preparation!
I went to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum for special place number two. At the museum, I ogled oodles of birds (including hummingbirds), tapirs, an otter, a beaver, insects, bushes, trees, cacti and small children. It was a busy day there, so the small children were in abundance, along with the other features. I was very impressed with how well disciplined most of the kids were. But then again, there were lots of dangerous cacti, so parents, tour guides and even strangers were quite motivated to keep children on the trails and off of the spiny plant life.
I have been so busy and stressed and focused on the move and trip planning that I have not studied any Japanese for, um... Actually, I’m not entirely sure how long. A month? Two? It’s hard to judge, since I am living my life moment to moment right now. All I keep in my mind is “what do I need to do right now” and go with that. I ignore everything else. It’s actually an inadvertent exercise in mindfulness, though, so I don’t mind too much. I wouldn’t want to feel this stressed all the time, but for now it’s okay.
Fortunately, I’ll be able to mentally and physically and psychologically and spiritually rest soon. Once I’m on the plane, it’s too late for any more preparation. Well, except Japanese language, but that’s WAY more fun than agonizing over how to pack all my stuff into a single twenty-kilogram piece of luggage, and which absolutely necessary item I positively must leave behind.
Speaking of leaving, it’s time for me to make final preparations to R-U-N-N-O-F-T; toddles for now!