An early summer rainstorm and double rainbow seen from the deck of our new residence, a small home my husband has been building for 9 years on our property overlooking the “Valley of the Dancing Angels (My husband gave this valley that name. When it is a cloudy day wisps of clouds float and dance in the valley resembling dancing angels.)
It has taken us a few months to get somewhat settled in our mountain home. This is where I wrote most of my first book, The Pearl of Great Price. I knew moving here would be challenging on all levels and it has! I was more attached to my life and family in the Bay Area as well as our former our parish than I realized after making the commitment to retire here. My roots run deep in San Francisco history (wrote about this in the first chapter of my book) and I found before and after our move a deep sense of grief welling up in me at times. I did not want to whine or complain, for what a miracle and privilege it is to be living here thanks to the support of many, yet that is partially how the spiritual attach started about a week after we moved.
A very unseasonable hot spell of 104-107 degrees for several days descended upon us after only two weeks here. We did not yet even have all our hard wired fans in (we are off grid and most of our home is run on DC power with occasional AC for charging things, running our phone and internet connection). We have no land lines or electricity lines on the mountain. Little things we all take for granted in our normal modern day lives that we did not yet or would not ever have here combined with the heat and how long it takes to sometimes install or get things to work up here added to my frustration. I am too old to be going through this! (I am only 60.)
After 4 days and of course on the Saturday night before Liturgy the next morning – I was ready to jump in the car and run to an air conditioned hotel. The only problem was that it was an hour away and due to my disabilities – I cannot drive that far! I was beside myself.
Our neighbors then told us that summer is the hardest time to live up here due to the heat and desert like feeling of the land during the height of the season. Then what I feared the most happened- my propensity in intense situations to have emotional melt downs, which lead to wanting to escape or run away. I felt like a caged, enraged animal! Lord have mercy!
Thank God for the saints, confession, Holy Communion, tearful prayers and solar swamp coolers! The combined defensive attack allowed me to I realize that I could give not any room for complaining/whining thoughts – period. “So what if the swamp cooler was not yet installed, so what if you are hot, so is everyone else here Veronica and most have less than you do! Be grateful, pray and take lots of cool showers – you will survive this! Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner.”
Since then I have been coming to peace with being here on this holy mountain (we live near a monastery). Greg finally finished installing our first mini swam cooler after the worst of the hot spell – of course – but thank God! The air in our room thanks to the swamp cooler reminds me of the feeling of fog in the air – of my home. Who would have thought! Life here is not perfect, but is is the closest thing to Heaven if I can just remain grateful and prayerful. Glory to God for all things! Stay tuned – I am finally able to write again now that this first spiritual hurdle has been jumped.