It’s A Different Kind


Of cold.

I find myself arguing with people who live outside of San Francisco when they snark at me that 50 degrees is not cold.

But it is.

There’s no insulation in my studio.

The wind off the ocean is not a breeze.

And it will cut you.

No playing.

Wet cold is so different from dry.

When I was up in Anchorage, the temperatures were drastically different from here, yet I found myself “freezing” on a number of occasions this past weekend.

I cannot believe the weekend is past tense already.

Aside from some cold extremities, which come in handy if one so chooses to use them as weapons of mass destruction on your boyfriend.

“ARGH! How are you’re feet so cold!?” He yelped when I stuck them on his warm leg under the covers in bed.

I felt justified.

The punk is not ticklish, so how am I to get my revenge?

Cold feet are awesome for that–revenge, a dish best served cold.

Not that I really have any thing to seek revenge upon my boyfriend, he is a peach, a pumpkin, a bunny, a darling, a sweetheart, as was often and amply demonstrated over the five-day weekend, which encompassed Christmas and all the crazy family baggage that entails.

For me.

Not him.

His baggage?

None of my business.

To write about or otherwise.

Something that being in a romantic relationship with this person is teaching me, I get to keep learning about myself, not him, myself.

Keep the focus on myself.

Which can be challenging for someone who grew up the way I did.

It’s easier to focus on others, whether it is their perceived wrong doings, or their right doings, when I compare, I despair.

And when I am focused on another person exclusively I am not seeing what I need to do to take care of myself.

It is a dance that I am clumsy at, but have a had a few moments of grace with; my two left, cold, feet, straighten out here and there and I manage to do a pretty pirouette and gracefully navigate a situation or feeling.

I just paused for a moment, to sip my tea and look about my clean space, it got deep cleaned today, and my pretty Christmas tree, to listen to the jazz on my player, to feel the warm dinner in my stomach, to hear the laundry drying in the next room over, to be so grateful for this place, this home, I just wanted to acknowledge a deep contentment for my space.

For that matter.

Let me acknowledge a deep contentment for my life.

I really have a blessed life.

Yesterday, for example, my guy and I went on a little road trip down the coast on Highway One to Santa Cruz.

We went to the Natural Bridges State Park and went on the Monarch hike.

Unfortunately, we got a later start then we had anticipated and there was not much monarch action to be seen.

Oh.

The monarchs were there, in the hundreds, if not thousands, they were just difficult to see.

The bower of eucalyptus trees that they were nestled in were already deep in afternoon shadows when we arrived.

The butterflies had thus already settled down into the bunches twined around the branches and leaves.

There were a few scant flyers in the top part of the tree canopy and I was able to spot a few fluttering around in the last of the suns rays when I strained my eyes all the way up to the sky.

Monarchs

Monarch Butterflies

The monarchs blend so well into the leaves when they are still that it took much searching to finally see the bundles laced throughout the boughs.

Monarchs

Monarchs

In this photograph I pulled as much out as I could and used my filters in Iphoto to somewhat capture a bundle. The gigantic mass is a horde of monarchs, most of them have their wings closed, so it makes it further challenging to observe them without their distinctive orange and black markings showing.

My boyfriend and I walked holding hands and climbed around the trees and paths and listed in the sun when it dappled down through the canopy.

I was already cold and ready for the car.

I joke with him that I am only dating him for the car seat warmer in his car.

In a way, I was disappointed, but in another, I was not at all.

We had gone on an adventure.

Sure it wasn’t the spectacle I had expected and I, of course, self-centered in the extreme, had envisioned the entire thing alone, with my boyfriend, the sunshine, the thousands of butterflies, and the trees.

Not the loud families having arguments about where to park or the tourists taking photographs or grumping to themselves that what was the point, you couldn’t really see the butterflies.

Damn you nature for not complying with our so human and prideful demands.

Rather, I was grateful for the experience.

I had gotten to take a road trip down the coast with my honey, listen to good music, hold hands, stop at roadside coffee shops and berry farms, I had gotten to see the waves unfurl and smash on the beaches of the shoreline on the drive, if I had only done this and nothing more, it was a successful adventure.

A grand experience.

And then as we were winding our way out along the elevated boardwalk, the last of the sun streaming in

Monarch Trail

Monarch Trail

I saw a monarch flutter in the trees and I whipped out the camera and caught them.

Not to take or steal or keep.

But to cherish and remember that moment, with my boyfriend next to me and the sun shining it’s last beams on our faces with boundless love.

Monarch Bundle

Monarch Bundle

Granted.

It’s not the best photograph I have ever taken, but it struck me, how often I can not see the beauty of the moment because I am too caught up in how I think it should be.

The present is full of gifts and they are simple, the most alluring, and beautiful, when they open their wings and remind you that love is here.

You just have to look with an open heart.

Love.

Is in fact.

Everywhere.

Which was then further smashed home when we exited the trees and saw the escaty of the setting sun.

My feet may have been cold.

But my heart.

Oh.

My heart was on fire.

Pacific Ocean Sunset

Sunset, Santa Cruz, Natural Bridges State Park

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