Before 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.
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.”
I turn my thoughts inward. Flashes of the past month gleam by:
– 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);
– the grandkids who welcome me with gasps of happiness whenever I drop by.
I guess I have found myself, and my fortune, here in my New England path.