It is finally cooling down. A lot of different thoughts have been batting around me all day like moths at a lightbulb and I feel overwhelmed. I got Belle and took her to the off-leash trail from Slater to Tennant Lake again, and this time we found a sercret spot by going off into a side trail through the knotweed and salmonberries and grasses and what look like old trees and ornamental shrubs that might have been planted by someone in the past before it became a nature trail. I keep thinking we will get to the river, but the trail is choked in greenery before we do. I can't tell if the rushing I hear is water or just wind in the leaves, which are all rattling and shiny. I can smell the river. It reminds me of growing up in Kennewick near the dike, when all I could hear of the Columbia River from my bed at night was horns from barges or trains crossing the bridge, and I pretended the wind in the tall maples in the neighbor's yard was the ocean and I was somewhere close to it as I fell asleep.
I found a dry bouquet of trail plants lying there on the path - someone had picked and abandoned it. It was really beautiful. I picked it up, then I left it there. I felt calm for the first and only time all day. The more days that go by, the shorter and shorter they get. I never feel like I get to even half of the things I want to, and I go to work for other people all day long, and I pay bills to other people with the money I make from that. I feel like I am always coming up short, or late, or empty. I feel guilty for not being enough, and I feel secondary guilt about my guilt, because I don't have time for it and because I really am so lucky, so lucky, so lucky that I can't waste it. Making music and being outside are pretty much the only things I know will always always help the panicky feeling go away.