“I want to indent. The photos should be bigger. This isn’t right. Why can’t it be like it was before?” I torment Bob at Ameriweb, my website’s new host. Bob works late nights to make the transition to my new online home go smoothly. But it is so different from what I knew and loved about my old site that I am having a hard time accepting it. “It’s too many changes,” I protest. This is just the beginning. This week I will register for a new health care carrier. I will start writing for a small online newspaper. I may even start to discover how the government shutdown will affect things.
“How much longer are you going to be working on your book? Don’t you think it’s time to move on?” my friend Liz prods. But I am still doggedly making changes to my memoir. And maybe I’m a little afraid to take the next steps.
I wasn’t always this wimpy about moving forward. I wonder what happened to the adventurous spirit that buoyed me as I got my pilot license, became a lifeguard at the age of fifty, and went alone last year to Australia to scatter my daughter’s ashes. Why am I so averse to change now?
At six in the morning on Sunday I burrow deep under the blankets not yet ready to face the new day. There is too much I can’t control. Nothing is the same anymore. My website, my book, … my life. Suddenly I need to just blow everything off.
So I go with my friends and our dogs for a walk in the woods off Comfort Road. We take a new trail in a familiar area. It is cool and damp in the forest. Then it becomes hot and muggy. The dark cloudy sky turns light as the sun comes out and I tie up my hair and tear off my jacket. If I close my eyes it feels like it’s still August. But when I open them I notice the green of summer is almost gone. The stream beds that were dry in July are muddy and wet now. And the trail is covered in red and yellow leaves.
“Look. Suki’s wearing earrings,” I say. The fallen leaves stick to her. She is like a trotting mop on the forest floor. We laugh when she shakes.