And the answer to the question posed at the end of the previous post is…. One Hundred and Ten Days (give or take a day). Having stuck around long enough to firmly embed herself in our hearts again, and to meet my daughter and her children during their recent sojourn at Blanchetière, (and to overhear the discussion about their plan to adopt her, so that she could move to England and still be The Only Cat in the household), Mother Cat has once again vanished.
I am currently on my five week ‘summer holiday’ back at the ranch, and am spending a few solitary days dog-minding, whilst Simon takes the rare opportunity to travel to England to visit various members of his own family. Which pretty much explains the freakish first appearance of a blog post by me since (OMG – has it REALLY been THAT long!) January. And last weekend we took our first dogless trip away together since our journey to England for my daughter’s ill-fated wedding in 2010, to attend a rare and special reunion of my sister’s family in the Aude, where we lived before this.
Of course Mother Cat had the run of the house, use of the cat flap and a big stash of yummy food to keep her happy in our absence. What she didn’t have was Human Company, which, it seems, is something she Likes Very Much. She was not here when we returned, and we are busy consoling ourselves with the belief that she has wandered back to her Other Home of the last three years, and that the humans who live there will be experiencing Much Joy at her sudden reappearance after three months absence. That’s Cats for ya – always ready with another lesson in non-attachment.
We went back to The Aude for the Family Event and also took the opportunity to enjoy a few trips down various memory lanes. We were pleased to discover that our old llama field in Roquetaillade has not been neglected and left to regrow the dastardly broom trees that we spent many a chilly day clearing by hand, but is instead being used by some other animal-keeper. The field shelter has been modified to make it more weather-proof, and a new gate has been fitted to secure the enclosure. We were a little sad to discover that the Olive-bread Man was not at Esperaza’s Sunday market, which has become somehow more organized and a little less charming over the last four years, but which was still the vibrant sensory delight we anticipated. And we were a little surprised (and yet secretly pleased) to find that no one seems to have been visiting the Fairy Wood in recent times, as the path to it is now greenly and bushily hidden to anyone who does not know of its existence. Which of course, with a Fairy Wood, is As It Should Be.
I couldn’t resist the chance to creep into its magical stillness and spend a few quiet moments contemplating Life, The Universe, and Everything. In particular I reflected on the Things I has wished for when I was last there, and how odd it is that wishes can and do come true. And how much odder it is that I actually no longer feel the need or the desire to make any more wishes. It seems I may finally have reached the point where I am happy to let my life unfold as it will, without wanting to try to control the hell out of it along the way. Which is not to say that I can’t enjoy the undoubted pleasure of contemplating a variety of interesting possibilities. Merely that I am not attached to any of them as a Must-Have outcome. I think Life will be easier if I can just sit back and enjoy the ride, without feeling the need to shout directions from the back seat all the time.
In the meantime, I am practising Being Here Now, which of course is easy-peasy when Here and Now are as nice as they are at the moment. But, like a child learning to ride a bike using stabilizers, perhaps if I can get the hang of it in this safe and easy place, I’ll be able to carry on doing it back in the Big Bad World, when my remaining two weeks of chillin’ in the Blissful Middle of Nowhere are over.
Oh, and I am also practising my emergent juggling skills. But that, my friends, is a tale for another day.