Last year on Chinese New Year’s Eve, Doc B and I were in Orange County California’s Little Saigon. It was an energetic way to welcome in the year of the Dragon. We drove the three square miles along Bolsa and Magnolia and it was so buzzing busy that we settled on take-out from a little hole in the wall Vietnamese sandwich shop. We took it back to our hotel room in Newport Beach and ended the night in the hot tub. This marked the start of a year that can only be described as demanding and challenging; or to wrap it up in one tight visual, the year of the loud roar of a fire breathing dragon.
Most of the demands were on Doc B who took two patent bar courses (one of which was the reason for our trip to California) followed by studying for the patent bar and passing the bar on the first try. During that same year, we also experienced the trauma of losing a beloved kitty cat (RIP Rumi) and endured the angst-filled, but so worth it, decision to adopt two more.
After all of that, I’m looking forward to a more grounding year of the snake.
This Chinese New Year’s Eve is starting off dramatically different, and not intentionally (on a conscious level any way). I’ve taken myself on a little writing retreat get-away for a long weekend. I didn’t realize that Chinese New Year would fall during my mini escape so I can only guess that a snake (or maybe some left over mythical protector Dragon energy) must have been looking out for me.
Doc B goes on all sorts of silent meditation retreats so I just asked if I could create my own type of haven away from home. I got a typical supportive and positive response to my idea. The plan was that I would use the time to get more organized about my writing, go through all of my journals and notebooks of ideas, and just have some quiet time away from scooping the cat box and doing dishes, oh and get a few days off work.
So I found a quiet rental near Peachtree City just 30 miles south-west of Atlanta. The house belongs to a writer/actor who opens up her home for just this purpose. It’s in a quiet wooded neighborhood on a large, secluded property. As I sit at the desk in my studio room, the view is of trees, sky and sun. Birds regularly flit past my window including fat blue birds the size of robins.
The home is very comfortable and there is even a room where I can do yoga or listen to music. The yoga has been interesting because it’s the first time I’ve done my Ashtanga series on plush carpeting. It took a minute to get used to but ultimately I think I ended up trying harder in some postures because I knew if I fell, the landing would be softer than the normal hardwood floor. I miss the heat of the Ashtanga Yoga Atlanta studio. I warmed up from the inside out okay but the sweat turns cold more quickly than I’d like.
I walked the yard this afternoon and persuaded three tufted tit mice to land on some low branches near my face (thanks to a spishing trick I learned from a friend who is an experienced birder). As I smiled at my new little birdie buddies, I heard rustling about 5 feet away. I turned my head toward the sound expecting to find a squirrel ready to join the fun. But instead the unbelievable happened…it was a harmless little foot long snake.
Auspicious is not a strong enough word for this…Let the year of the snake begin.
Happy New Year!