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Florida Family Vacation by skookum on flickr“florida family vacation” by skookum on flickr

 

My new home has afforded me three lizard encounters thus far.  The first was a bit intimate as there is a shower lizard that may or may not live in the shower drain that likes to languish and leer whilst I shower–he’s all eyes that one.  The second encounter was of the morbid kind as I picked up a box off of my ikea buffet in the entry area of the house to find a  black lizard who must have been unlucky enough to have been wedged under the box.  Soon after I lifted the box, made a pitiable squeal of surprise, and called my sister over, the poor thing went to lizard heaven (presumably full of bushy palms and a neverending supply of tiny insects for consumption) and we had to, eek, flush him down the toilet.  I can only hope the shower lizard did not have to encounter him on his way down. 

 

The third lizard was in our spare bedroom/doggie cage room and he was just meandering across the bottom of the wall–I think even the lizards move at a slower pace in Florida.  Needless to say I am on lizard alert, not sure where the next one will appear.  It is both an endearing and equally unnerving element of my new home environment.   I love lizards, I really do but I never expected to share the inside of my home with them, at least barring a beach bungalow life in Thailand or Nicaragua (two favorite vacation spots of mine which have geckos and lizards on every wall of every room). 

 

The amphibian element is only one piece of my adjustment to life in the Sunshine State.  The unprovoked acts of friendliness are another element and I have to recalibrate my Jersey-induced public prickliness to a more sunny and unsuspicious disposition.  A woman was standing behind me on line at Home Goods last night and asked where I was going to put the lovely lamp I was purchasing.  I jolted upright and fumbled, confused, for a reply.  After an awkwardly long pause, and her beginning to eye me curiously, I finally answered quickly that I would be using it in my entryway and walked out of the store hoping I had feigned-Florida well enough.  I can recall this piece of transition from my move to Colorado years  back and I know it takes some time but I have confidence that soon I will smile not flinch when someone speaks to me unprovoked and kindly in public arenas. 

 

Another transition piece that I have yet to get fully accustomed to is my newly hairless pooch.  Yes, I have shaved my little dog to a fully naked but not quite profane state.  She has transformed from looking like a miniature beagle with a pug/squirrel tail to looking something like a mini Jack Russel Terrier with a possum tail (see below).  I found very quickly that Florida is just too hot a state for a long haired tiny dog.  She was panting like crazy and shedding like mad with such a fury that three days into the move I decided that the hair just had to go.  She seems somewhat confused but overall pleased with her new do, or lack of a “do”. 

 

Hairless Doggie

 

On the whole we are a household a bit confused and fumbling.  Last night the bed was me plus two dogs and thank god we got the king-sized bed before the move as it was cramped even with all the space.  All three of us were twitchy and hyperalert the whole night long, jolting up at every strange noise.  Around 2 a.m. the rumbling thunder came in with force and was so close and roaring I could feel it in my gut.  A family divided by space and states I find myself languishing a bit in my own solitude as I fumble through the nuances and confusions of new geography alone.  At least, I think to myself, I have the dogs and the lizards to keep me company. 

 

In the quiet of an empty house, as I find myself more and more talking in full conversations with my dogs, pausing and intuiting their replies before I continue on with the dialogue, I know these are the moments in which quiet contemplation and a focus on inner calm is the most necessary.  I know that these are the times for which I prescribe such measures for my clients; in periods of uncertainty, restlessness, sadness, fear, and general discontentedness.  Just breathe, I tell them and then I progress forward in teaching them how.  I know I must remember these tools for myself and I must focus on self-care. 

 

Just breathe.  I will repeat this mantra and work for inner meditative peace and search with a bit of urgency for my yoga mat that I know is packed somewhere in the few remaining boxes.  I yearn desperately for the peace of fluidity in silence and breath.  And if I don’t find that stinking mat by tomorrow I’ll just have to go find a new one.  Perhaps even find a local class with my fun new iphone “YogaNow” application.  It is what I purchased it for; when I was fumbling, lost and confused…in search of a collective namaste kind of moment.  I think that time is soon nearing.

  

Smile, breathe and go slowly.                                         Thich Nhat Hanh

 

ocean colour scene #3 by macca on flickr

“ocean colour scene #3” by macca on flickr

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