Sunday, May 28, 2017

bedding in barra

I am back in Barra de Navidad.

I started to write: "I am back home." But I do not quite feel that is true.

When Gary and Joyce dropped me off at my house, I immediately started doing what I do after every trip -- unpacking my luggage.

As I was pulling my new shirts out of my new duffel bag, I paused for a second. I can't tell you why. I just did.

I looked around my room. Everything was as I had left it. Just tidier. Dora had been keeping the ship in trim while I was away for the past three weeks. But something seemed a bit odd.

Then it hit me. Even though I am quite fond of living in this unnamed house, and I am quite comfortable living in Mexico, neither one quite feels like home to me.

I tell everyone, when they ask, that Mexico, not Oregon or Nevada, is my home. But I am not certain what that means.

My legal training taught me to start any discussion with a definition of terms. After all, what is "home?"

"The place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household." So says the dictionary.

If that is what "home" is, I guess I do not have one. I certainly do not live anywhere permanently. I have spent more nights away from my Barra bed, than in it, this year. And during my three weeks in Washington and Oregon, I slept in seven different beds. Permanence is not my lifestyle.

That sounds a bit like: "Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home." But I hope I never get to the point of reducing my life to one of those silly inspirational posters on Pinterest.

I may not have a home, but I certainly do have a house. Even though Dora did a marvelous job of maintaining the place, there were tasks awaiting me when I arrived.

The first was the most important. While I was reading last night, I heard the well pump cycle on and off several times. That usually means water is running somewhere. Usually, an open tap or a stuck toilet float valve.

Not this time. It was the washing machine. Full of water and overflowing. I turned off the tap and cycled the water out -- thinking I had cleverly defeated Grendl himself.

Nope. When I turned the tap back on, the water started filling the drum. So, off went the tap. I will get around to that task in the next few days.

Then it was gardening. I lopped off the flower stalk of a Queen Anne palm before it could foul the patio, and then started picking up leaves and flowers from the vines in front of each bedroom door.

That was when I found a rather sad sight. Since I moved in, a hummingbird has visited the flowers on my vines each morning and evening. Like clockwork. I know he is there by his distinctive chirp as he makes his rounds.

I did not hear him yesterday evening or this morning. I now know why. I found his body in the netting that supports the vine. It looks as if he flew head first into it and died. Whether immediately or strangled, I have no way of knowing.

It will not be the same without him. But his little body reminded me that there is no such thing as a permanent home in our physical world. Death is a constant companion reminding us that we are all just seconds away from being netted ourselves.

There are two lines from Zorba the Greek that I have always liked. "Life is what you do while you're waiting to die." And "I carry on as if I was going to die any minute." I hope I can live like that.

And then we go home.

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