rivers forest

down here in the campfire light.

I haven't written anything in a month. (You can't tell how long because there's no timestamps here.) I'm still out by the fire though, but it's the middle of September instead of the middle of August. It's around dinner time on a Sunday, and the fire's about to die down. I wanted a day fire because it was nice enough to sit outside but not hot enough to enjoy it for very long. A fire was a nice way to complete the circle of comfort.

There's geese overhead right now. In fact, geese are everywhere right now. Last week was pretty cold, so I feel like they're accelerating their plans to head south for the winter. The leaves have started to turn on some of the trees around here too. Summer ended abruptly for sure.

I'm outside shortly before dusk. It's warm, but my toes are starting to feel a bit cold.

Sitting in my backyard for the summer has been a gift. I'm safe here. And besides the highway directly behind us (there's a hill to soften the noise, but it doesn't work with engine retarder breaks), it's quiet.

As simple as these moments have been, I'm glad I was able to experience them. With everything happening right now, a safe place is a blessing.

Also, my cat terrorized a couple grasshoppers today. I should have stopped her, but with insects I don't mind. Birds and rabbits must be respected, though.

It's hard not to think about where I'd be if I didn't get sick. Would I have continued on the path to career success? Would I have a healthy social life? Would I be in a healthy relationship?

These are all useless questions though. My life is my life. I can't look at someone else's life and wonder why it's not mine. I'm 34. I have chronic pain. I can't do the things I did in the Before Times. That's my life, and no matter how much I wish the pain would completely disappear, it won't. And I have to work with that.

I just want independence. Spare me the distractions. Give me forty acres and a mule. Land to work and die on. Somewhere with no more rugs to pull out from under me.

I don't have time to wait for the sweet by and by.

We didn't get rain over the weekend; or rather, we got just enough to wet the grass but not enough to make it green. The crops around the city seem to be holding up though.

A tornado touched down in the west of the province. Two people were killed. They'd just graduated high school. Two lives thrown from the world in an instant.

I leave tomorrow for my mom's home town. I'm going to visit my 89-year-old grandma. I also have cousins out there. They're good folk. I'm hoping to get some seeds from my grandma for my garden next year. Just no dill; I have enough dill.

It's 4:29 a.m. on a Saturday morning. I've been up since 2 a.m. It's the pain. (It's almost always the pain.) The problem is, once the pain wakes me up, my phone comes out and I start scrolling the internet in hopes I'll eventually fall asleep. It never works.

My phone and I have a tough relationship. When I could barely get out of bed, my phone transported me to realities that weren't my own. It was a lifeline when I couldn't leave my room. But now that my condition is improving, I know I need boundaries. Being three inches away from a screen that displays the entirety of the world's knowledge is no different than the internet being installed into our brains.

Weekends used to have more significance before I became sick. They were a way of resetting after running through the obstacles of the week. But when I stopped working in 2012, weekends stopped making sense. Some years I'd even forget what day it was if I was alone in the house long enough. To think Sunday is Friday is jarring.

I've since learned that it's good to keep a calendar in your head and to change your schedule based on how the world around you runs. I'll order a pizza on a Friday, but rarely during the week. Saturdays and Sundays are better for doing nothing (well, weekdays are full of lots of nothing, too), while Mondays, much like when I could still work, are for slow starts and pretending to be productive.

The power went out this morning just before I was about to get into the shower. In my area, this happens once every few years, and never more than a few hours. After having my shower in the dark (I kept the door open for a little bit of light), I hauled my generator out of storage and fired it up. (If you don't run it at least a little every year the carburetor gets clogged.)

I bought my generator in 2015 after purchasing five acres of land. I've since sold the land— that's another post, or essay, or novel— but kept the generator. Not for one hour power outages, of course. That's silly. It's because I hope to have land again soon, and I'll need it then.

During the outage I managed to charge my phone 15%. I'd call that a success.

I turned the sprinkler on in the backyard. I don't usually care if the grass goes brown, but it's been over a month since we've had rain, and brown grass isn't that comfortable to walk on with bare feet. Plus, it's nice to sit next to cool water blasting in the air, especially on a hot day like today.

I'm eating peanut butter on toast in a dark basement. It's 10 a.m. on a Thursday. I don't know what I'm going to do today. It's supposed to be over 30c, so I'll at least wear shorts and soak up the sun.

It's rumoured there might be rain tomorrow night.

My cat is an indoor cat, but a few summers ago we discovered that, if we let her outside in the backyard, she'll rarely venture beyond the deck when no one is with her, or the fence when someone is in the yard. (It's because everything scares her.) She'll lay for hours on our plastic Adirondack chairs, curled up soundly, blissfully lulled by the beauty of the world just outside the sliding patio doors. To her, nothing is more important than the present moment.