The Justincases

I’m starting to carry around the justincases…little bits of psychic baggage that are accumulating around a picture of what this life would look like justincase I’m not seeing things correctly.

I do not feel seen.

You know when someone gets you a present and it’s something they would like? And, while the gesture is kind, you want to give it back to them and say, “This definitely looks better on you,”? You know that kind of gift?

I did that yesterday.

We drove to the beach, a campground area that is my new favorite campground and that I imagined driving our family out to in the summer times as we flew down an aspen-lined country road on a sunny afternoon with the windows down.

It felt like Cali again. There’s nothing I like more than a long drive to somewhere beautiful on a sunny day with the windows down followed by a joint on the beach, a swim, a sandwich and a beer. Paradise.

This is what we do, DJ and I. We pick a place on the map, pack our shit and drive. We camp and have adventures. Sometimes when you’re adventuring you find that the adventure is a simple, straightforward thing. That’s rare for us, so when we arrived at the beach yesterday without incident I guess our adventure seemed unadventurous.

I didn’t take a picture of the beach. We’ll be back. Thimbleberries and salmonberries grow in thickets along an estuary separated from the ocean by the road. It’s too early in the season, but thimbleberries bring me back to childhood when the climate in Tahoe was moist enough to bring them to fruition in grandma’s front yard and the lot across the street.

The beach has sand and calls for an evening bonfire to be lit. The forest is wild and green, the trees stretching tall like slow-moving giants. My feet itched to explore. My kids, when or if they come into this world, will know this place. Tiny daisies litter the grass.

This is the second adventure into the wilderness that I am dragging him on in as many weeks. I’m starting to think he adventures with me because I want to, that his part in this is more tolerating than enjoying our outings. I’m starting to remember, too, that this is okay.

There’s something charming about the man who drags his feet behind his woman, complaining. He doesn’t always do this, mind, and it’s no judgement on his character. I complain far more frequently. Hands down.

Not every adventure is going to be adventuresome. Not every day is going to contain enthusiasm or joy. Many do. I laugh much more than I used to. The low days and the valleys are beginning to inform the meaning of my time in more positive ways. Often, I’m finding, those lows are based on a basic inability to communicate my needs, wants, boundaries, or to take proper action that respects those in others.

When we arrive, we walk around a campground that’s taunting, really, since everything is still locked down. We have no firewood, but crave a bonfire and some hot dogs.

The justincases is a term I use for this realm of thought I’ve hardly given credence to, being an extremist and a bit of a xenophobe.

I like when we show up to a beach on a rainy day and lament that we did not plan to stay and camp. I like when it’s uncertain, what we do next, and one must act according to what is best for all involved. When was the last time I consciously did this? Paused and asked, “What is most beneficial and least harmful to those around me? What action means an equal exchange of energy?”

There’s a line between flow and will. It’s a subtle current to navigate.

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