by Baylan Megino
August 1, 2013
The ties that bind…. are loosened as the Leo new moon approaches.
Sleep has not been my friend lately. When I was younger, I could sleep through a rock concert, but these past few days have been long, physically demanding, and mentally draining. Hours of sleep have not brought the deep rest that I have known for so long.
Maybe it’s because the new moon is coming. Today, as waited in line for my friendly neighborhood DMV to call my number, I listened to Michele Grace Lessirard talk about the energies that have been swirling the last few months.
“June was about speaking your truth. July was about protecting your space from naysayers, protecting your boundaries, and creating sacred space.” It has been a time of letting go, of shifts happening, of disruptions with communications and computers. Sound familiar?
And August? It’s about “the call to be brilliant and to shine brightly.” Time to go into the void, be open, see what you desire, see what inspires you, and allow the creativity to flow. And that entails surrendering the ties that bind us. Stay grounded, and yield to the flow.
I’ve been clearing a lot of STUFF these past few months. Cleared space at the house, sorting through 42 years of family stuff. Cleared the back yard — even Mom said it never looked so good.
Closed out my storage units and brought things to the house. It’s full again. I need to spend more time going through boxes and boxes and letting things go, passing them on to others who could love them, shredding documents, disposing of things that remain that have accumulated over the last 20 years of my life. Makes my arms ache just thinking about it.
The call? Oh, yes, I have one. It gets real clear, and I often move in that direction. It’s a challenge to stay fully focused on that path, though. One reason why I came back home was to help care for my Dad as his Alzheimer’s progressed. But just a few months in, it became clear that we couldn’t handle it ourselves. And my siblings live too far away to be able to help regularly. So we placed Dad in the first of several homes before he “crossed the rainbow bridge” this past March. But that’s a story for another day.
Mom is slowing down. It’s to be expected – after all, she is over 80 years old, for heaven’s sake! She is fiercely independent, and stubborn. She spends her days going through papers and boxes and sorting through clothes while listening to the news or watching “Criminal Minds” and “Cold Case” and other such programs. Donate, Toss, Keep. Donate, Donate, Toss, Keep. Keep, Keep, Keep, Toss.
Today I needed to get out and take a drive. I could get groceries at Safeway, I thought to myself. Could’ve gone to the one only five minutes away, but decided first to head up the hill to catch the sunset. Almost ten minutes later, I found almost all the parking spots were taken. The one or two that were open didn’t have a view I wanted. So I parked further down the hill in a parking lot with a view of the City and a broad expanse of the Bay. The fog was rolling in and had blanketed much of the City, and the sun’s afterglow was quickly fading.
Sitting in the quiet of my car, memories came flooding in of my first dog, Perdita. She just showed up one day – at least that’s what I remember. She was the “Little Lost One,” and she was mine. I remember one time sitting on the floor, grabbing and hugging her tight as I cried, pained by my father’s discipline. I didn’t understand, and Perdita was there for me. She was my best friend, and helped me through many confusing days.
And then one day she was gone. Ran off, I was told. Accept it. There was no search — Only a deep, deep sense of loss.
Driving in the hills, watching the trees open to reveal the bay, seeing the world spread out below me – these have always brought me peace. But today it was flat, lacked the richness of a full visual feast.
I descended to the flatlands where, all the way at the other end of the next town, I pulled up to the Safeway. Located at the north end of Gourmet Gulch, it had been remodeled since my last visit. I wandered through unfamiliar aisles, checking off items on the list. Picked up a package of ginger snaps as my personal treat, and set the full paper bag on the back seat just as it started to rip.
Turned my car toward home, and drove through the quiet streets, noting the changes. Very few stores and restaurants remained from my time living in this college town. It was sad for me to see the jumble of architectural progress. Nothing felt familiar. Nothing was the same. There were a few exceptions — one restaurant that I never went to – King Dong. Couldn’t imagine saying I had eaten there.
Driving further, I saw the produce store had moved across the street into a newly expanded building. Used to buy fresh chicken and an amazing assortment of vegetables there, and enjoyed thinking of recipes and menus while I lugged the heavy bags several blocks home. Any Mountain was in its original space. It was comforting to see the Japanese restaurant still on the corner.
Then headed to the bank, my arms tired from days of lifting boxes. As I stepped from my car, a young woman caught my eye. Slim with short cropped hair, she sat quietly at the bus stop. As I passed her, she stood up in the gathering dusk to search for a bus. No dice.
Where are you going? I asked.
Oh! She said in surprise. Berkeley, she said.
I paused. That was in the opposite direction.
I’m not in any rush to go home, I said. Want a ride?
Sure! She said, and moved to the car. Thank you!
Want some ginger cookies? I asked as we snapped on our seatbelts.
Yes, thank you, she said with a smile.
She shared the story of her name. Both grandmothers hold the same name, and so the lines came together in her. Recently graduated from a school in Connecticut, she needed to get away. She had just arrived, and tonight was visiting a friend.
So what do you do? I asked.
Oh, I work at two coffee shops, she said.
What do you Want to do? I asked.
She wanted to do community organizing, to do something that makes a difference.
Well, you’re in the right place, I said. Do you work with computers? I asked
Yes, but my roommate does websites. She’s on the computer all the time.
Well, sometimes I have a need for help with research. Perhaps you can help me with that, I said.
Sure! She said. Comfortable. Open. Young. Ready for the world.
Let me give you my card, I said. She made a sound of approval as I opened my card case.
Rosie the Riveter, I said. There’s a museum for her in Richmond.
I’m going to have to check that out.
Give me a call so I have your number, I suggested.
I will. Thanks again for the ride. She smiled and said, You know, my grandfather used to always have ginger snaps in his car. It reminded me of him.
Nice memory, I said. Let’s keep in touch.
She stepped to the curb, and we both waved as the signal light changed, and I turned the corner toward home.
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