Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, the bluffs in Cambria, CA
My sister invited me to join her for a quiet retreat in Cambria. Within an hour of the phone call, I was packed and on the road! I stepped out onto the boardwalk along the bluffs the next morning and was confronted with the wide open expanse of the Preserve and sky above that rivaled only the openness I experienced in Montana or the Highland moors of Scotland. I felt myself exhaling for the first time in perhaps months. Until that moment, I don’t think I realized that I’d been more or less holding everything in, trying to keep it all together for months now.
How quickly we can fall into stressful living! It creeps in like poisonous gas seeping through the cracks, insidiously stealing the very air we breathe, tightening our lungs and back and jaw. Stress brought on by feeling discounted, disrespected, ineffective or expendable. Stress intensified by fear and feelings of often being misunderstood and under attack no matter how hard you work, how well you perform, how much you’ve contributed over the years, nor how good your intentions. Our society does not honor individuals for their experience or any wisdom or integrity gained from that experience. I have come under duress to a realization that it is true; in our country older people are throw-aways it seems, and I am beginning to feel my years in that regard. Paradoxically, I don’t feel like I’m old. Far from it!
So where do I go from here? Miles of open sky, air, land and sea await me, offering me the space and time to figure out how I am going to proceed, for living a life of stress is not doing anyone any good, least of all me.
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