A New England Fortune

New England path, Walden PondBefore the snows begin, and the ice and sleet, I walk in my new neighborhood to become familiar with all of the dips and cracks in the sidewalks and the wooded paths nearby. On this chilly day, I wear a decades-old red LL Bean overcoat and even older soft black gloves that I didn’t need when living in the San Francisco bay area.

I grumble a bit, allowing some self-pity.

     At “home,” I’d still be wearing shorts and a t-shirt.

     At “home,” I’d need a baseball hat to protect my face from the gleaming sun.

As leaves crunch beneath my shoes, my gloved third finger discovers a small crunch in its tip. Is it a years-old crumb? A small pebble from long-ago?

My fingertip explores the crackly texture and relays to my brain that it’s “papery.”

My shoes lead me down a rocky leaf-strewn path as my finger scrunches the paper inside the glove, down, down, down into the palm. Despite the chill (ie, 43 degrees – what a wimp), I take off the glove and discover a narrow slip of paper with words typed across it.

A fortune cookie message.fall, New England, fortune cookie message, gloves

Uh oh.

I worry that the gods above are about to chastise me. Something like “Buck up you spoiled _ _ _ _ _.”

Or “The winds of the seasons blow sense into useless brains.”

I open the paper with trembling (non-gloved) fingers and read in the fading New England afternoon light:

“Turn your thoughts within – find yourself.”

Oh.

Okay.

stick insect, Phasmatodea

Slim, our next door neighbor.

I turn my thoughts inward. Flashes of the past month gleam by:

Indian Pipe, New England plant

Spock

– the NE friend who gave up her weekend to help me unbox and then organize my kitchen;

– the new creatures I’ve met in the neighborhood (meet “Slim,” a rarely seen Phasmatodea who’s endangered and living outside my front door) and in the woods nearby (meet “Spock,” a rare red form of Indian Pipe that my new hiking group and I discovered);

Nia, Yoga and Nia, dance– the new yoga-dance Nia class I joined that, somehow, hasn’t killed me yet and in fact dances me into joy (even when watching the snow flurries outside);

– the grandkids who welcome me with gasps of happiness whenever I drop by.

Oh.

Well.

I guess I have found myself,  and my fortune, here in my New England path.

grandchildren, happy kids

 

51 thoughts on “A New England Fortune

  1. Awww, I love this. I too so often think the universe is about to chastise me, but it seems I only do that to myself. What a lovely bunch of spontaneous memories of the last month. It indeed sounds like you’ve found another ‘home’. (I think we’re allowed more than one…) Warming hugs, H xxx

  2. You’ll delight in the summer all the more for having a winter behind you. Being able to share sledging with your grandchildren in the snow, and creating snowmen with them will bring great delight to you and them as will being close at Christmas.
    Come January you’ll have a whole new experience to write about.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    • So true! With sledding comes hot chocolate. With Christmas comes eggnog and gifts. With snow comes…. um…freezing temps and cold toes? Oh my, I need to put my positive hat back on. You help me, will you, come January? xoxo hugehug xoxo

  3. Pamela,

    This New England adventure is going to be chock full of these adjustment moments. And of course, I’m not just referring to your scarves and hats. How you’re pulling it off, I don’t know. No doubt, with grace. I know that you cannot underestimate the encouragement of “home sweet homes” and gasps of happiness from your family. That is your good fortune.

    I’ll be driving north over your favorite bridge later today. I’ll waive to your little town on the right.

    • You’re killing me with images of “our” amazing golden bridge in your rearview mirror as you travel north. Jealous! Every time I drive over that bridge I count my blessings. Well, count for me, and have a great weekend through the Rainbow Tunnel.

  4. How fantastic. What gifts. Though one trusts that you have even more treasures yet to be unearthed, if you dig even deeper within. And what a perfect message for this season of the earth and season of your life!!! As Eckhart Tolle says, we begin to shift from doing to being.

  5. Changes always come with regrets for most of us. I ‘m one of them. But you know that your move will reward you with new experiences and pleasures. Take good care of yourself and buy a cozy winter coat.

  6. You’re rediscovering the east and I’ll be rediscovering the Central Coast of California, the “home” that seemed so strange to us thirty+ years ago, all to be with those grandchildren and a few old friends. At this moment I’m outside my newest grandchild’s home, enjoying a rare “sun break”, several miles north of Seattle. Some day I may be too old to make major changes like this. For now, I’ll take what I can from each one and find my own fortune wherever I am, just as you are doing.

  7. Pam,
    I guess that I am just meant to search out your blog each Friday!! Today was especially cold and I know winter is around the corner. Be thankful you can get out and walk, enjoy the fall and most of all, have good health to do the things you cherish most!! Remember how it was as a child when it snowed? I always hoped for a snow day when I was a little girl. To go outside and play for hours and never feel the cold. Not anymore!!
    You should count the days until spring and put the number somewhere you can see it. Then cross off each day. You will see that it goes by quickly! xoxo Karen

    • The one thing good about the cold, to me, is that life slows down a bit (because as another person commented above, when winter comes, it’s time to BE instead of DO). So, yes, it will seem like a long time until spring for me, but maybe having the days not move by so quickly is a good thing. (I know it’s a good thing that you are so persistent in finding my blog every week – thank you!!!)

  8. To move from a hot climate to where you are now to feel the cold ..must be difficult… but then like all moves in the end home becomes home and we all acclimatise… and maybe next year wont be as bad…

  9. I am glad that you discovered what you like about New England. But you have so many nice things to see and do and yes, even now you can look inward and discover many things to write about. Life is good after all.

  10. Tee-shirt and shorts for a hike up Mt. Diablo yesterday. October weather in November with a temperature hovering in the upper 70’s. Of course I wore a Giants World Series baseball hat to keep the sun off the bare spot that’s emerged in the past few years. Gosh, I should move to the east coast to see what I’ve heard to be actually four seasons.

    • Oh, jeez, just rub it in, my friend. You can rub the top of my head, which still has a thick glorious mane (soon to be covered with a thick wool hat!). I dare you and your girl to come visit us … in January. Bring boots! xo

    • I’m so inspired by your post on ‘my mind is a garden,’ that I’m trying to see these new discoveries as my own new ‘garden,’ to explore, write about, shovel (instead of weed) away the unneeded, and give warmth to the right written word. xo

  11. We really have a choice as to how we react to new places and settings. We can forever look backward to what we left behind, or we can seek out and embrace new surroundings and people. Fond memories of places and people should never be forgotten, of course. But we should always be making new memories to enjoy in the future, too. 🙂

  12. A little late on the comments here:-) but… I read your post and was envious to be there crunching through the leaves. I just love walking in fall leaves! Thanks for sharing the tour through the neighborhood. 🙂

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