[Nest in a Smoke Tree, found on a hike last week in Joshua Tree National Park]

I am back.  Back from a long vacation, back from a myriad of computer and internet issues, back from what seems like an eternity ago when I felt like I was "in the zone" with my work, fully connected to my creative tribe, buzzing along like a hummingbird in a field of honeysuckle.

We returned from our southern California road trip on Friday and proceeded to have a strangely productive weekend, getting errands and tasks marked off the to do lists that have been waiting in the wings since before we left.  Our vacation was also a time of movement, with almost daily bicycle rides of 24 miles, 35 miles, 45 miles and more, plus a ten mile hike just for good measure.  We drove to Palm Springs, Joshua Tree, Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez and then, as if we had not done enough driving, took off for lunch in Ojai with two of our best friends yesterday.  I did not get a whole lot of writing done as I thought I might, but that is way plans often go when it comes to vacations, and I still have a number of weeks in front of me to finish up the remaining book pages that need to be translated from my brain onto paper.

Summer, for me, is now officially in full swing, which means I have a long list of plans, guests and people to coordinate between now and early fall.  My anxiety over staying on top of all of this while at the same time finishing my book seemed to grow by the minute over the weekend, and I am having to make a very concerted effort to take today gently.  I have the usual back from a vacation things to catch up on and am also managing a new round of house projects.  To see all the different pieces of pie laid out in this blog entry makes me realize I need to start on this path with a calm and easy step.  House.  Guests.  Travel.  Friends.  Family.  Book.  Normal Life Stuff.  Yesterday it felt like a lot; today I'm trying to take one step at a time and avoid overloading my brain with a tangle of details.  I have a feeling I'll be making a lot of lists over the next many weeks.

I had a zany thought last night as I lay in bed trying to fall asleep - what if I just tossed in the towel, cancelled my book, shut down my Etsy shop, stopped blogging and lived a quiet life that wasn't about trying to make any great impact on the world beyond my own backyard?  What is it in me that drives me to be so many things to so many people, to want to create as much light and inspiration in the world as I possibly can?  Could I live that life?  That life where I let all of this go and turn much more inward?

"Help us to be the always hopeful Gardeners of the spirit Who know that without darkness Nothing comes to birth As without light Nothing flowers."

-From Journal of a Solitude, May Sarton