Me + The P.I.C. have been turning off electronics at 6. In these long summer days, it's still light out--deceiving, in the best of ways. I unravel the hose and replenish my garden plot, then the surrounding crates of plants that bore the heftiest dose of afternoon sun, watching the bunnies spread flat on their tummies in shaded dirt nooks, impressed by the vocal endurance of the birds that perform an opera from morning to sun fall--no recess. When the sun goes away, I drink steaming cups of herbal tea--red clover, fennel, lemon balm, licorice root, hibiscus flower. I'm comforted by my vast and replenishable collection of cut herbs that offer a variety of soothing, healing brews. I read now, more than ever, at the frequency and with the passion I always wanted. I always felt like a reader, but never really was one, not in the "avid" category, until now. Sometimes I feel like I'm missing out. Mostly, I feel like I'm finally stepping in . To the life I'd convinced myself I never had time for. I'm sensitive. Easily swayed. A glutton for distraction. Never give me advice because I'll probably take it. I hate that feeling. I can't stand it when someone else claims to know what I should be doing. Even worse, when I welcome it in, and listen. With everything changing so fast, I've felt stirred up in my quiet, cozy little life. The long path my soul intuited isn't stretching out in my mind's eye quite the way it was only months, weeks, days ago. I've let too much in. I've sacrificed my stream of focus to fear. I've made the mistake of casting my worries and anxieties outward, hoping for answers, certainty, anything to soothe my sense of safety that's been shattered by a flood of unknowns. Seeking safety in others' opinions has resulted in a scattered bumble of redirected priorities that don't reflect my inner core of knowing. What was meant as a productive push has been a plug, stopping me up, paralyzing the achingly incremental progress I've finally been excavating, digging into, feeling into reality. I've literally walked in circles, pulled between one thing and the other, the barrage of todo's and suddenly "urgent" tasks that make me feel overwhelmed and somehow getting nowhere fast. Then I freeze, bogged down by it all. I forget what's important. I've found that what's really important is almost never what other people say it is. Something about me: I create best when I feel free. When I feel like I want to do something instead of having to do something. I still might "have to" do it, but feeling that way paralyzes me. I avoid. I run in the opposite direction of anything resembling obligation. I see this not as a shortcoming, but one of my greatest strengths. It's deeply important for me to set up a lifestyle that grounds me. Limiting noise of every kind, to a point that most would consider reclusive, is so immensely spirit-opening for me. I find myself in long stretches of quiet, uninterrupted alone time, solo activity. We're "those people" that don't own a TV and talk to each other. We take walks. We pull oracle cards before bedtime and talk about what they mean to us, how the sweet divine Spirit always meets us where we're at. I always know as much as I need to without throwing myself in the fray. Face-planting the feeds. The only time I've caught a glimpse of the "news" is in some unavoidable place where hopefully it's on mute (the airport or tire shop). Enough awareness creeps in by merely being a part of the world. The things I remain happily on the edge of roil on without me--sometimes remedied, sometimes not, and then the "next thing" is circulating around the water hole. My time is so very precious, and sometimes I don't honor it. I'll change my plans on the spontaneous whim of a friend's schedule. Or make a phone call midday, cutting into the precious creative hours of technology time that are essential for moving all things forward. It takes courage to quietly sit through lonely moments when I crave a distraction. Tonight, I made an exception, and kept my screen open until the sky has turned violet. Cicadas drum the air like a net of sound. As a kid, they used to terrify me. My brother would fling dead ones at me in the pool and I'd scream. Now, I barely give them a second thought, I even like being enveloped by their distinct buzz. They are an eternal sign of warm summer nights, and their sound is my reminder to power down, unplug and step into my life.