Coco is a beautiful, rambunctious rescue cat.

The other day I stepped out of my comfort zone by agreeing to help a friend with his yard. I know that’s unusual to want to help a perfectly capable man rake pine needles; however, it was a great opportunity for me to get exercise and fresh air while achieving a goal and I’m grateful he thought of me. When I arrived at his home, I received his text instructing me to go to his back yard and wait for him.

I walked through the garage onto his patio and sat near his fire pit, noticing the cover he made for it. One of the things I love about this man is he’s very creative in an engineer kind of way– he’s constantly dreaming up little ways of making life better through inventions. Little things really do mean a lot and he pays attention to those minor details. He’s also very talented at so many other things.

black_capped_chickadee_8As I awaited his arrival, I noticed the birds fluttering to the feeder and was amazed they came so close to me! One of the birds perched himself on the water dish which was within very close proximity of where I sat. The bird looked directly at me while quenching his thirst as though we were sitting in a bar enjoying a discussion. Another bird gracefully dove into a parabola from a nearby tree branch, calculating his vertex just inches from my face! At that moment, I felt unusually at peace.

When Scott arrived, we raked and loaded the needles into his truck. We took a break on his deck and had some interesting conversations while preparing to go to the compost heap with the pine needles. Since we were in the neighborhood, he drove me around an expensive new subdivision to look at homes which were impressive and one of the homes was ridiculously large; however, all of these homes lacked the serenity of his current residence which bears shady, mature trees and space to raise homing pigeons and chickens.

He pulled in front of one of the new homes and stated that he wanted it. I couldn’t tell if he was serious or not; however, aside from the view, I wonder why he would desire such a living space? It occurred to me that we all are consumers by nature, and perhaps we desire what others may perceive as more. Perhaps some of us do base our human value by how expensive our possessions are, which is rather sad. For a moment, I wondered who I would have to cheat in order to acquire such a grand abode, and how the owner was able to obtain and keep it? Was it through hard, grueling work? Was it by being a paper pusher? Where was the money coming from?

When we drove back to Scott’s and sat on his deck again, I saw his place with different eyes. This time, I noticed how his view encompasses the lines of human boundaries; yet, embraces an honest connection with nature. His home isn’t a conformed mansion sitting on a mountainside with the view of a predator living among prey and it isn’t disconnected from what would keep one grounded. His home is his slice of heaven where he can dream of “having more” in a different way and it’s downright rebellious! It occurs to me that perhaps that isn’t what he wants. Perhaps he already has the ability to feel connected through his freedom to travel where and when he wants. The world is his playground and he would have to sacrifice much in order to be grounded to one spot, no matter how peaceful. Either way, he is winning at life.

He spoke of many things that day and he said “It’s all relative,” that’s what sticks.




Jennifer VanDyke“I don’t understand you or your illness and it makes me angry.” His words left me speechless as I stood quietly in the kitchen, washing the sink full of dishes I never even used.
I’m pretty fragile emotionally and there seems to be no place for people who have similar anxiety levels, sometimes even the home doesn’t feel quite homey. 

 So, my son doesn’t understand me– I don’t understand the world, it is a sick place to live. Yes, there are good things about life, too and I try my best to focus on those; however, once you let someone in, you tend to subject yourself to his or her perspective and his or her day. Although some people you have to let in because they’re family, I’ve discovered this to be especially true while working as well. It seems that there are very little opportunities for those who want to just make a living flying solo rather than having to be a part of a team. It doesn’t matter what perpetuates us in the workforce because no matter where we land, we are all just cogs in a machine. My problem is finding the correct machine for me because so far, I’m the cog that doesn’t fit.
I don’t understand it either, it makes me angry too.