I have been home a few days. Chico has forgiven me for being gone so long. I love dogs. They don't hold grudges. He is sitting peacefully on my lap as I am writing this post. His ears, like radar, are tracking the sounds outside. The birds are waking up in the garden. It is overcast but I know it will be hot by this afternoon. It rained last night and the air coming in my window is fresh and cool.
I am settling back into my daily routines. My life. My simple life. The other day I went to look at several houses for sale in my friend's neighborhood. For a brief time I wondered what my life would be like if I owned one of those huge beautiful homes. A fantasy not worth pursuing. My freedom is worth more to me than ownership of a home.
I have watched friends struggling with maintaining their homes. It is a constant strain and outflow of money. Something is always going wrong. Besides, Chico belongs to my landlord. He would never allow me to take Chico away from him. All things considered, I have a good life. Why would I want more than two rooms anyway? Just more cleaning to do.
I miss my family in Portland but I would not move there. My quality of life would go down too much. I no longer drive and I hate being in cars. Everything up there is expensive. When I was with my son one day up there, he parked in an illegal space in the center of town. He kept the car running and as he stepped out of the car he said, I will be back in a few minutes. If they come by to give me a ticket, move the car.
That would have been a simple request for anyone else but it sent me into a tailspin. I no longer have a driver's license. It expired several years ago. I didn't need to drive here so it didn't matter to me. I sat there, watching all the cars whizzing by. Even if I were to drive the car, how would I find him? And how would I be able to park again? I imagined having an accident and with no driver's license, ending up in jail. I was so relieved when my son returned-- finally. Every minute felt like an hour as I ran through my fears about driving. I gave him a hard time for saying that to me and he just laughed and said, I was just kidding.
But this experience made me realize how far I have drifted from my former life in the States. My son also said to me another time on my visit, You act like you have never lived up here, like someone who comes from a third world country.
Well, I wouldn't call Mexico a third world country these days but I understood what he was saying to me. I have simplified my life down to the bare bones. I am easily overwhelmed by the demands placed on people in big cities. I am like the country mouse who visits the city mouse. I always loved that little story.
So here I am, once again, the country mouse, happy and relieved to be back home.