At last a shower after about six weeks, and the mornings are feeling a bit fresher.  It’s a sign of change, but I’m going to need a billboard.  No more Augusts in Texas is my newest life rule.

A friend needs me, so I pretend that’s why I’ll soon head to Scotland leaving the homestead and sad pup to the neighbors.  Really I go because I’m monotony-challenged.  The perpetual heat and isolation are feeling omnipotent.  I honestly don’t get how my neighbors do it.

Of course I want to go.  I’ve never been, that’s more than enough excuse for me.  Add to it that it’ll be practically free, and well, who wouldn’t?  What greater calling for yes could there be than a gift shrouded in need?

But now I hesitate in all new ways.  Our poor pup, I think, who really hates to be alone, will he forgive another trip away?  The new chicks, will they be ok?  My neighbors, are they tiring of their unpaid role as ad hoc caretakers? Will missing the first class of the Master Gardener’s Course set me permanently behind all semester?

Then I think, how lame have I really become?  Half the year away was nothing for me a decade ago, and now a week sounds un-doable.  The fine lines of attachment have become chords.  This little hobby of ours is also requiring previously inconceivable roots.  And I keep obsessing about pickles.

No, not pregnant.  But sometimes it definitely feels that way.  The obsession is mostly because in this record heat and drought the monotony is killing me, which makes me think of the only survivor crops in the garden:  cucumbers, peppers, and okra, all which we pickle.  Not even the melons can make it.

The resilience and adaptability of some plants absolutely astounds me, and of course it’s our ancestors who built in these genes over time.  I suppose we must all have that resilience gene to some degree, or our ancestors wouldn’t have gotten us this far.  I fear I’m losing what little resilience I once had for monotony, and this concerns me.

I truly believe some of the best ideas are born out of boredom.   Where will my best ideas come from if I never allow myself monotony?  I remember eternal summers as a teen in the suburbs, three months of doing the same thing to such an extreme degree I couldn’t wait to go back to school.  Once back at school I was bored to distraction again after a half a semester.  Here I can’t seem to go more than a few weeks.

The challenge to creativity today isn’t typically to have a room of one’s own, as Virginia Wolf wrote, but to find a calm of one’s own.  The oddest part of that is that I’ve got far more time and peace and quiet than I’ve ever had, which is exactly what has made it so glaringly apparent that I haven’t been well trained in how to handle it.  So I leave again, while my neighbors, who haven’t left in years, stay.

And all I keep thinking is thank heavens for friends in need and nice neighbors, and praying the Scots don’t eat pickles.