This morning I was looking at pictures on Facebook of a group of dearest old friends at a Christmas gathering and feeling love accompanied by a bleak sadness that I am not with them. I have always told my children that our lives are the result of our choices and I do believe that but, here alone on this mountain with ten inches of snow and many animals to feed, it is easy to feel pangs of loneliness and self pity. There is always a certain amount of fear before I start down the hill on ice cleats or, as today, snowshoes. I ask myself what a sixty eight year old woman is doing living alone in this life that can be cold and hard and even dangerous. The answer always is the beauty of this place and the mountain light. I cannot seem to live without those two things neither of which I can touch or capture but are necessities for the life of my soul.
I often wonder how we are each made with such different soul-needs. I have friends who thrive on contact and constant interaction with others, have good marriages to dear deep friends, give service to those who need what they can do. They live in cities and neighborhoods and thrive on the closeness with friends and neighbors. I have done some of that happily in the past but am absolutely unable to make that choice today. There is some grief, however with the loss of that laughing and touching and loving that comes in daily contact with old friends and family who know my history and can be completely trusted with my unadorned self. I do have wonderful companions here in the mountains, most of whom moved here with the same passion and need for natural beauty and a preponderance of solitude. I treasure them as well. We support each other through through the tough weather, whether it be physical or emotional. My choices have always had losses and blessings. I cling to the promise that my 12 step program gives me that I "will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it." I do know that I only truly have today and what I choose to cultivate in it. That will always color what adventures in love and life I have in the future. So sending love to my dear ones from all parts of my life, I will put on the longjohns and snowshoes and go off to continue living my (cold) mountain day.