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... and another thing

  • Writer's pictureMirt Norgren

Sometimes I Cry, Sometimes I Fly Like a Bird

Updated: Jun 23

It’s been a few years since I’ve been inspired to share my thoughts or felt like I had anything to say that was worth reading. I refuse to give the changes that occurred in 2020 one more ounce of credence or to be defined by the effects they had on me. Suffice it to say that things got weird and so did we. 

I tapped out of blogging out of numbness and boredom, there was nothing much to report other than a few recipes we were forced to create after buying pounds of Chilean Sea Bass that a local restaurant was unloading before they closed their doors. It was succulent and delicious for the first couple of nights but by the time we got to fish tacos, much like the fish my observations had dried up and there was nothing left to say. My words had become every bit as uninteresting as the menu.

What followed was a silent resignation to wait until the storm blew over. That particular cyclone extended to a hasty move across the country that encompassed our household of 2 humans and 2 dogs. The force of that wind was so savage that it swept through our lives with sufficient force to pull our grown kids and two cats into our wake. In the absence of covered wagons, we crossed the prairie in the comfort of our camper. Behind us we towed a car filled with plants and a clay Buddha we lovingly named Barney who sat safely in the driver’s side of my Lexus with his seat belt securely fastened. We’re nothing if not safety conscious.

Our arrival in Austin was met with the excitement of newness and the task of unpacking. There was furniture to buy, trees to plant, fences to build and light fixtures to change out. Mood lighting is everything in our tiny tribe of gypsies. We can move seamlessly through our home straight into our children’s apartments and not miss a beat, the glow of soft lighting and exotic plants connect us through our aesthetic and our lives have remained intertwined as we each have traveled through the momentous task of finding community. Friends have emerged from every conceivable direction and as we round the clock to begin our 4th year in Austin, we finally feel at home.

I won’t lie, it’s hot as all get-out in the summer months. I am a child of the outdoors that craves connection with the sky and a daily moving meditation. The ability to sit in quiet stillness eludes me so I choose activities that allow me to move in silence as a means to connect with spirit. The questions that plague me seem to liquify and pour right out of my pores when I move with intention. But there in lies my dilemma, the temperatures can climb to unbearable heights and last summer we experienced over 3 months of watching the thermometer hoover at 106 degrees during the day, dropping only into the high 90s in the evenings. Even a child of the outdoors can’t hang with that sort of misery and the luxury of air-conditioning can become a mixed blessing as the days press on and the only relief is refrigeration or submersion. The absence of water in our back yard in the form of a pool or a pond has been significant and I am no stranger to the relief of standing under the flow of water from the garden hose.

The last memorable afternoon spent in our beloved Capo Beach home was the culmination of thousands of glorious moments of laughter, healing and connection that we shared in that home. In the midst of the monotonous days of captivity that dragged on for Mike, Jen and myself, Drew dropping in on us was a shot of intoxicating energy and elation. The music that escaped from his deck, the cool breeze and vibrant colors of lush vegetation in our yard called us out of our cages. That day was filled with golden light, laughter and much needed haircuts. We knew, all of us that it was to be the last hurrah which would signify and mark the end of a beautiful season of love. The twenty years we spent there will forever be marked with gratitude and appreciation.

The advent of Drew’s appearance that day was no different than the jubilation I felt as a child on the rare occasions when the circus came to town. He blew in with so much fanfare and created such excitement in our weary souls that the doldrum of confinement dissipated and each of us was able to draw from that bountiful well of contentment during the months of hard work that followed.

None of us have been exempt from bouts of doubt and depression but we have persevered and moved towards our future with hope and courage. I tend to be the one that looks over my shoulder a bit too often, especially when I feel cooped up by the summer heat. Last summer I discovered that a quick escape to the beach and the mountains has the power to reset my appreciation for all the places where I feel completely at home, including Austin. I touch down in Capo Beach occasionally to connect with family, friends and the ocean but it is on the long drive to Mammoth that each bump and turn on 395 signify ascension to the peace and wholeness I experience when I return to the Sierra Nevada. I spent the early part of my twenties living in that glorious mountain range and the piece of my heart that resides there finds its way into my chest the moment I arrive and for the briefest of moments I am whole. 

A few days ago I hiked alone for hours with nothing but the sound of rushing water escaping from Rock Creek to fill my ears. The aspen leaves quaked in the breeze all around me and the sight of ancient pine trees soaring into the clear blue sky fed my never ending need to find freedom from relentless thinking.

My temporal human constitution is no match for the ferocious winds, extreme snowfall and the magnitude of seismic activity that have shaped granite and stone over the millennia. The mountains seem to have an effect on my emotions not unlike the extreme gravitational pull the moon exerts on the seas. My memories commingle in a whirlwind of hope, regret, ambition and loneliness. I never feel more alive or close to death than I do when I reside in the thin air of those soaring altitudes. Water is wetter, cold is colder, warmth is warmer and God feels so close that I can feel the touch of His hand on my shoulder and I hear a whisper in a still small voice that tells me everything IS and has always been just as it should be. 

The drive down the grade is a mix of tears and joy that allow me to empty myself out. All of the negative emotions, worry and doubt that torment me melt away in a torrent of tears and relief. I play old songs that speak truth to me and revel in the sight of the sun casting it’s final rays on the glowing red mountains. As the last fragments of light fade and the moon begins its rise over the horizon I know that Boz Scaggs said it best. 

Sometimes I cry, sometimes I fly like a bird.

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3 comentarios

23 jun

Beautiful, mama. Thank you for sharing. XO

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Becky Franczyk
Becky Franczyk
23 jun

Beautiful. “None of us have been exempt from bouts of doubt and depression but we have persevered and moved towards our future with hope and courage” mic drop moment! Love you!

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22 jun

Mirtie I loved reading this so much. Such a deep and soulful writing. Thanks for sharing this part of your journey.

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