Shaking off the gloomy days

If the boulders are moved, even a river will change its flow. — Deng Ming-Dao

Are you in a rut? Has the heavy wet air got you down?

The only thing to do in this case is to break out; to do something different…move those boulders and change the flow of your life.

On the first day of July, heavy myself in the early morning hours with the weight of the many gray days, I dragged out of bed at my usual early hour. Sure, the birds were singing. Crows were cawing with their loud and impressive voices. A hawk screeched. They just weren't energizing me on this — yet another — gloomy morning and a day off for me.

Still, it was a time to be purposeful. I hated that perhaps these things that I love were becoming part of my own personal rut. That just could not be allowed. Something must change.

Mary Ferguson had emailed me that there were to be four or five of the rescued sea lions from the Marine Mammal Center to be released that morning at Crescent Cove. The day had been reserved for driving to the desert to visit my mother, but certainly I could find a way to see these wonderful creatures return to the wild, couldn't I?

I could. I would combine a morning walk with this special event. Time would be a bit pressed, but some things are more important than keeping to a schedule. This was one of those things.

Walking shoes and warm clothes on, ankle brace secured, I set out early enough to get there by the 9 o'clock release time. Slow-starting — as if the weight of the wetness were holding me down — I meandered down the canyon to the shore. Even on such a day as this, walking along our beautiful shoreline is always a special treat.

My eyes darted from sand to sea as I walked, not wanting to miss a single opportunity. From a bit of glass or a cast-off trinket to a dolphin sighting, I never want to be so lost in reverie as to miss it. Today was no exception.

When I arrived at Crescent Bay there were already several people awaiting the arrival of the truck carrying the sea lions. Even as I paced along the sand, not wanting to get chilled after the warming of my walk there, I could sense the anticipation in the air. It made me smile.

At last the vehicles carrying the rescued animals arrived. We all converged, moved closer, wanting to be a part of this momentous occasion.

The kennels were lined up. All were ready. The volunteers were there with guiding boards to keep the sea lions headed the right way. Doors were raised. Three of the creatures headed eagerly toward the water. The remaining two were going to need some coaxing, it appeared.

Finally, the fourth sea lion left his kennel, with great reluctance. The one remaining was not going anywhere, however. Those of us watching joked that the sea lion knew when it had things good. After all, the Marine Mammal Center had not only rescued them when they were ailing, but had fed them and treated them really well and they were protected from any and all assault. Such a life.

Still, when at last the fifth sea lion found its way to the water's edge, the joyful porpoise-like leaps it made as it headed outward were something to watch. Pure joy filled my heart in that moment.

So what does any of this have to do with getting out of a rut? Well. As I later drove out to the desert I found myself thinking of that. What was my own personal rut? What more might I do to change the flow?

What struck me at last was that, no matter what our lives look like, we all tend to become bound in some way when we do the same things over and over. The best of actions can become rut-like at times.

So, whatever your own personal rut, life is merely the flow of energy, easily altered. It is up to you. Move those boulders. Change that flow.

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