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Day 203 - Restoration Hardware

Ok, so I love their stuff. It is crazy expensive but I still love it. In fact, my house looks like a room from their showroom. Not because I have purchased everything I own there...nope, a few key pieces and then I have recreated the look with stuff I find at flea markets, garage sales and Craigslist. I am way too cheap to buy it all there. Although I have promised myself that when my kids leave for college I am getting the cloud couch in WHITE! The dog and cats will destroy it just as fast as the kids, but there will never be a time that the dog and the cats go off to college...

Today, however I am thinking about a different kind of restoration and a different kind of hardware...

I am, of course, thinking about spiritual restoration. Seems like we could all use a bit of that right now. The hardware concept comes in with the idea that perhaps the restoration comes from some new hardware we are all having installed in this down time. Let me explain...

What if in the time before the Rona (as my friend Randy and I have come to call it) our collective hardware was in need of an update? What if before the whole world shut down, we were operating on some old processors and motherboards? What if our collective hardware was malfunctioning which led us to a place where we were just operating off the old stuff despite all of its glitches...what if we had done that for so long that we didn’t even see the glitches anymore?

In the time of the virus, I feel like I have been given new hardware. New eyes for seeing. New ears for hearing. New ability to taste and savor. New sensations. New smells.

I see things differently, almost as if I have new eyes or at least new glasses. I do not see life as this endless list of things to get done. (Ok, maybe I do but I am able to put the list down and go for a walk, or lounge in bed on a Saturday...). When I take my morning 4 mile hike - I see the birds. The people walking also. I see the beauty that surrounds me. I see the flowers and the clouds and the earth and stream. I see it all. I really, really see it.

I hear the sounds on my walk (when I am not talking on the phone). Regardless of how many people call me or I call, I take time on every hike to listen to the roosters crowing, the hens laying, the donkeys braying. I hear the sounds of the bees and hummingbirds on their intense flight paths that includes buzzing by my ears. I hear the sound of the water rushing by in a river that, in recent years, was almost dry by now. I hear my daughter and son talk to me. I hear the absolutely adorable “mahhhh” of our new goats. I HEAR things.

I taste my food although admittedly during my working day I am still choking it down sometimes. I never knew working from home would be so busy that lunch would still be something that I ate at 2 pm standing up at my that still happens but I am tasting it more often than I used to. I was eating cookies and almond milk every afternoon but it being almost bathing suit season curtailed that particular every day activity. Oh, I am still eating them...just not every day at 3 pm. Something about time changing meaning has allowed me to enjoy the taste of things more. With that also comes my ability to cook again. However, if I am honest, it is really just heating up stuff from Trader love for cooking seemed to be something I lost in my divorce. Regardless, I am preparing dinner which is something I haven't done except on Sundays.

New sensations as I touch new things because my entire world of touch has been limited by gloves, masks, hand washing, social distancing and hand sanitizer. Every morning now my daughter and I hug. A long one. Not that we didn’t do it before, but now it is how we start our day exceptions. We hug because we are the only human contact for each other. We hug because we need it and have realized that our lives can no longer live with hugging being optional. I am aware of a lot of sensations that I previously missed because I was too busy to pay attention.

In the springtime, the entire Ojai valley smells of orange blossoms. I love it every year but this year I have gotten to smell it every single day. I walk my yard and smell it from my own trees, which if I am honest, I didn't really ever notice before. It was a smell relegated to the orchards...not my own backyard.

So I feel like I have gotten new hardware installed. I feel like I am accessing my life on a deeper level. My whole life both internal and external (hardware and software) has been upgraded which has led me to a kind of restoration of body, mind and spirit.

My life is occurring here, right now. I am up at 4:56 on a Saturday because that is the time I woke up. I read a text message from a friend who is in the hospital and was reaching out because he is scared and lonely. It is not the Rona...but other health complications. I couldn’t go back to sleep after reading his text because I was consumed with thoughts of him. Of how I might help, of how I might be denied an opportunity to help. I thought of him and his isolation. I thought about what I can do...hold a good thought. That is what he asked me to do. And I will do that but that seems insufficient given the current world order. Seems like there are a lot of new alternatives out there now. The Rona has caused us all to dig deeper and bring some creativity to our lives that was missing before. Since we could no longer go on as we had before, then we must go on as we never had...I think that is a Bronte...but I am not sure which one. Ok, I looked it up and it was Thomas Jefferson...who knew? (Actually Jefferson said If you want something you've never had

You must be willing to do something you've never done - which is not exactly what I am saying...).

So the phrase Restoration Hardware has taken on a new meaning for me. I am changed. I have received new hardware during this time in isolation. I am in receipt of a new operating system and a new motherboard. I am upgraded. I have been restored to a place of spiritual wellbeing that is both familiar and novel. I feel kinda like every spring and fall when I get the new catalogues from RH and there is the same old stuff but then there is some new stuff that upgrades the whole by the addition of some new variation of the old.

I love restoration hardware and now I love the process. I love that I have been given a new upgrade to my life...not by addition, no. I rarely learn anything by it is through subtraction that my lessons are abundant. My life always requiring that something be removed in order to see all that has been there all along.

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