a foggy morning

I am on a train, traveling with my little family. The heartland of America is foggy this morning, mysterious and beautiful. I saw the sun rise through the fog, a bright red ball, muted and bright, all at once. I do not often see the sun rise, so it is even more spectacular to me seen through this thick fog.

There is no wifi on this train, so I am only typing. Since I hadn’t synched my google drive to this computer, I am borrowing my husband’s settings. (Our new chrome book is set up to be almost entirely cloud based, but of course, there are options to work offline, as long as one sets it up in advance.) Technology is a marvel. One sure sign I am growing older is that I do not take it for granted all the time. I remember the offline world, the days before constant texting. The days before email. My childhood seems like a different world (and yet, so different even than my parents). Life speeds by.

Taking the train was an experiment. One that seems to have failed: despite enjoying the scenery and having dinner on the train, the discomforts of trying to sleep last night were enough that no one really likes this option best. Except, maybe me. If we were to get a sleeping berth, maybe this would actually work? I am not sure. I am considering upgrading for our return trip, because my hips ache from trying to stretch all the way out last night. Definitely more room than sleeping on an airplane, but still not comfortable.

Oh, my hips ache often enough anyway. I am almost thirty eight and my hips are starting to need constant stretching. But this is the second worst level of ache. (Achy enough that some serous yoga will help, but the light yoga I am able to do on the train only slightly molified it. With some advil, I will be fine in a few hours.)

Yesterday, I raced through the one library book that had downloaded onto my iPod (I love ereading much more than I expected to). I thought I had downloaded the second book, but apparently not. And so now I have an hour or two without a book: to write, to look out the window, to take photos. It is not so bad to have nothing to do. Sometimes I have to remind myself. This was part of our lives until so recenty, how could we forget it so quickly?

The human capacity to change amazes me. And yet, the choice to not change is still available, too. On this train, we have a plain couple (Amish or the other, I cannot tell). I smile at them as we pass each other, just as I smile at everyone. Just because we make different choices doesn’t mean we are all that different. There is so much beauty in this world. It spreads over us all.

Two weeks until my birthday. Last year, I offered up a new ebook for the day. This year, I am not sure what I will offer. Possibly silence. I have ideas percolating, but the other side of those ideas is this: I am enough. I do not need to think of more ways to share (or to monetize). I am sharing myself already. I have enough in my life. I can let myself change organically. Let that change spread here, to my online space, oorganically. Slowly and consciously. It is my way of navigating the choice between technology and nature. To honor both. To be conscious of both.

The fog and the bare trees outside the train windows are amazing. My favorite kind of barren beauty, especially with the old barns and buildings we sare passing. The world is beautiful, in every season, but the fog and the bare trees and the falling down barns are a beauty of their own. Perhaps I am reminded of Ansel Adams. The landscape is that particularly slivery black and white he showcased so well. HIs art is so much a part of my being. That plain stark beauty. I go for a completely different thing in my own photography, but beneath the blur and the color, the plain stark beauty is there, I think. Everything, beautiful.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, which my son keeps announcing. Over and over, “Tomorrow is Thanksgiving!!!!” Four exclamation points is probably not enough to convey his enthusiam, but it will have to do.

At least three times last night, I woke up and my hand and lower arm had fallen completely asleep. Wake up, I had to remind myself. Over and over, each day, each minute, I remind myself. Wake up.

This is life. Right here before me, right now. Beautiful. Wake up!

But the fog blankets the world and reminds me sometimes it is also good to sleep. The choice is mine.

The choice is mine.