I've been sitting here, as usual, at my table by the window clacking away on the keyboard. It's freakishly still outdoors. One of the first things I realized about Sault Ste Marie is that there is nearly always wind. The winds vary from monstrous gales to pleasant breezes and everything in between. Still trees were something I quickly began to find odd after we moved here. There's barely a quiver in the branches around our house today, though. All's still, except for the ravens swooping by every now and again. It's an expectant stillness.
The storm that has been raging across the U.S. is heading our way. Soon I'll go fetch the girls and we'll be wrapped up tight for the night, and this reminds me of our earlier days. Back when the gratitude soared high over things like electricity and 500 square feet of living space paid for by sweeping halls and washing windows. Five hundred square feet has a way of feeling exuberantly cozy and manageable. Though money was tight, life was simple, and so much time was free. I think I'd find it unbearable to look back if we hadn't enjoyed ourselves so thoroughly and squeezed every ounce of life out of those years. Everything we wanted to be then we are now. On top of that, we're still cozy, and we're learning how to funnel the busyness into its appropriate pockets of the day.
I've always imagined that on days like this, when the little birds are tucked away, that they're sitting somewhere all serene and cozy. It's sweet to imagine, but I'm wondering why I've always imagined things this way. Maybe the birds are panicking on the inside. Maybe they're too afraid to speak or move. I've been in that state so many times. It's my go to pose when anxiety strikes: hold my breath, and don't move a muscle. Wait for the blow. Conserve all the energy for survival, even if, unlike birds bracing for a winter storm, the threat is far from life threatening.
A while back I was talking to someone who said one of her go-to phrases is be like the raven. Ravens don't panic she said. They stay alert, and calm. They move away from danger and watch it pass, and then they go on with their business. It's a good method. Alert. Calm. Aware. Easier said than done, but a good practice for anyone that struggles with anxiety.
Side note: Earlier today, while I was warming up chili on the stove, I thought I saw a wild turkey bobbing it's head on top of our neighbor's house. This would have been more likely (but still odd) in Almont, where we used to live. I once ran for my life (carrying art supplies and a 3 year old) from a mother turkey protecting her baby at Camp Skyline, the lovely wooded camp near Almont. Unfortunately, today's head bobbing turkey was actually a raven pacing on a dish. The lace in the window was obscuring the view.
Anyway. Alert. Calm. Aware. This is what I'm aiming for as Fierce makes its way out into the world and I get better acquainted with the business side of writing and publishing. I think the calm before the storm of Fierce was had in those early years of soaking in the life I was building on purpose. Back then all the energy was going to survival. We instinctively laid low and soaked up all the goodness. These days, life gives and asks for more. Naturally, adaptation is in order, and this particular learning curve has been just a tad clunky. Fortunately, one day at a time is as fast as anything can go.
Sitting here, writing like old times, this little house is getting woven in with our used to be homes. Old memories don't feel so far away, and breathing is easier right this second. And where else is there to be that's real?
Alert. Calm. Aware. I'm feeling it.
Anna Turner is the woman behind Little Hearth. She's an ordained interfaith minister, a writer, a believer in purposeful living and healing, a perpetual student, and a full time feminist mother.