August 02, 2012

19 redwoods & a dishwasher

Sometimes depression descends on me like a tule fog. In northern California, a tule fog floods in like a blanket of white, like a white out snowstorm or sandstorm, making it impossible to see.

It's settled on me again. It's been a lifelong, recurring battle as days of sunshine diminish to an emotional fog that crushes my spirit. A normal extrovert buoyed by social interaction, I withdraw from everyone and everything. This week, in the midst of a lunchtime cake celebration for a co-worker's birthday at the office, standing in the group during all the hoopla was so painful. All I wanted to do was return to my office and close the door.

When the emotional fog is so thick I can't look forward to anything with anticipation, I focus on exercise, food and diet to move me back into the sunshine. One other thing that helps is trying to bring myself into an attitude of gratefulness, being in the present and embracing all the elements of my world that give me joy.

And so, this week, I thought I'd find some happiness in a present I bought myself-- a new DSLR camera with the latest bells, lights & whistles. But the tule fog kept me from even wanting to unpack it. Now the camera has  set on my coffee table for days without my normal curiosity to learn the new features & enjoying taking it for a spin.

What opened a little spot of sunshine came from the most surprising of places. My dishwasher broke 6 months ago and I finally got it fixed. After the repairman left, a unexpected rush of joy flooded thru me as I loaded my trusty Miele up to the gills and heard the quiet whooshing sound of a long lost friend doing my dishes. I was positively giddy over having my dishwasher back. Then this morning, as I drove into the parking lot at work, I realized that I was parking beside 16 redwoods. Like my 3 redwoods at home, dozens of birds sing, nest and rest in these gentle giants. There are only 2 places in the world where redwoods grow. One of the largest stands of redwoods is just 20 minutes from my house. It made me smile. Little spots of happy don't always come from places we most expect. Sometimes they're perched in 19 redwoods and a dishwasher...

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