30 days, 30 moods

Being here for a whole month is of course an incredible gift. We all talk about it intermittently, usually in a state of semi-awe or wonder about our good fortune. It’s been interesting to note how nearly everyone here has had at least a few days, if not a longer period, of mood swings, depression, grief, or some other version of facing demons. I had a few days like that last week, and I’m glad to say it has passed for now, but any period of solitude and introspection can easily slide into something unexpectedly difficult.

During my first ten days I was super busy with writing new chapters that were stored up in my head, or rewriting things I’d already taken a stab at… when I got to the point where I had to stop and do a lot of reading and research, I started to go into a darker place, revisiting a bunch of melancholic feelings that I had happily “left behind” when I came east for this jaunt… oh well. Like I was saying to one of my colleagues this morning (who was also frustrated and embarrassed that she had been stymied and sad and hurting), we all have our “stuff,” it’s just a part of the human condition. In thirty wide-open days you’re bound to run into it at least for part of the time.

I took my grief out by hiking up 1,800 feet to the top of Blue Mountain. Here’s a shot of the view back to Blue Mtn. Lake (the first big sprawling lake), followed in the chain by Eagle Lake (where the arrow points is where we are, and where I’m sitting on a dock with Blue Mtn. in the background on the second shot), and then Utawana Lake, and eventually in the far distance, Raquette Lake, which is also rather large. Photos below:

The arrows point to the respective view points that the two photos cross-represent… After that arduous climb (which is two miles uphill by bike to the trailhead) it rained for a couple of days. When that cleared, off I went again, on a 6 mile hike on the Lookout Mtn. Loop. You can see Lookout Mtn. views of Blue Mtn. in the previous entry, but here’s a forest shot to tantalize you with the leaf colors:

Two more days of rain finally gave way to a very crisp autumn day yesterday, so I grabbed a bicycle and rode a 22-mile roundtrip to Raquette Lake. Here’s a view across the lake back towards Blue Mtn., the tiny mountain on the horizon in the middle of the picture:

On the same ride I rode alongside a number of spots that opened up on beautiful wetlands. Here’s a particularly sweet autumn shot of a swampy area:

Meanwhile, for those of you who might have actually read this far, I think a title has been chosen for the book… but I’m going to wait to unveil it until I’m sure… thanks for all the suggestions! Turns out to be a product of brainstorming here, starting with an idea I had and then working it repeatedly for the past week with Andrew Boyd, who is a great person to do that with!

Nine days left, how many new moods?…

Postscript, one hour later: After posting this and finishing up my Friday job, I had to tour around my blog circuit and Donita Sparks at FireDogLake made my day with this fantastic link to a Bollywood dance number, about 5 minutes long and well worth it!

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