Yesterday, I was invited to a party. My wife was at work, my son at his grandfather's, and I could have gone. The people there were ones I know and like, at least many of them were. But I couldn't do it. The idea of getting in my car and going somewhere I'd have to be on, where I'd have to talk and smile and laugh and explain and sparkle, made me shudder.
Outside, the air was cold and snapping, with a deep blue sky. So I made a cup of cocoa, and packed a book just in case, and a granola bar, and I got in the car and started driving. I ended up at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, and it was what I needed. Golden maples, spreading oaks, pine trees that roared gently in the wind, and countless other kinds of trees, spread overhead. I walked trails hard and soft, and watched birds and squirrels. After a time, I got chilly, and drove further west to find apples.
The orchard I had chosen turned out to be all done picking for the season, and it also happened to be a winery. There were too many people, people who I'm sure are perfectly nice people, but had that kind of frantic "we're having AUTUMN FUN" energy, with careful hair and makeup, that makes me feel frumpy and inadequate instead of quirky and joyful, so I left. I came home to my book and the stew and dumplings I'd made earlier in the day.
So, there was no people-ing, but I did go out, and it was what I needed. I hope you are finding what you need, too, in this weekend...
Sara is a storyteller, writer, artist, teacher, wife, mother, and singer living in Minnesota. I write about storytelling, and about living a life with stories.