Friday, September 13, 2013

off the calendar

I've been traveling and on vacation for a little over a week now, and perhaps it's because I feel like I'm too old to be unable to answer the question "what's your address?" (or even "where do you live?" with anything more specific than a state), but this time I was off the calendar for almost two weeks, and when my sister and I 'landed' yesterday and I was sitting at my grandmother's kitchen table, I glanced over and placed myself again in one of those little squares on the calendar, and it was a strange sensation.
I drove across the country (the shorter way) after finishing school and school employment, which was two days of being unsure not only of when I was but also where. Then my sister and I hopped into her vehicle and drove across Texas, visiting some caverns and mountains and then the beach. We were on the border of two time zones for a few days, which adds to the confusion (especially when her alarm went off twice, 5AM central time, then 5AM mountain time because we walked across the campground... really gives perspective to that saying 'it's 5 o'clock somewhere'). We had spotty cell phone service at times, and I don't have a car charger for mine, so I even turned it off for the few days we tent camped (can't plug into a cactus, after all). So we didn't really know even what day of the week it was half the time (or even what time), much less date. It was freeing in a way, being in mountains way up high, hiking through cactus and thorny plants and rain and a few critters, and at other times being way down in caverns, dimly lit only by artificial light, and lastly camped on the beach, hearing the roar of the ocean and the occasional rain shower, connected much more deeply to earth and it's rhythms than the artificial calendar and 24 hours. To move around based on daylight, weather, temperature, and being hungry or tired or wet, rather than what specific time and day it was. So when, a week later, we arrived back to 'life as we knew it', and I glanced over at those squares on a page, each one with it's own number, in rows of seven, and put myself in that little box, I felt the world condense around me again (and the panic set in...). Fascinating to compare the vastness of space and earth, the smallness of a person in this great world, with our usual marching through boxes on a page, one square at a time. One world of many worlds, indeed.