Eucalyptus Vs. Birch

I just got back from five days in California: the Bay Area, Marin County and Berkeley. What a stunning place. I saw a lot of eucalyptus trees.

eucalyptus-2Photo by jar (away) via Creative Commons on Flickr.

I lived in Berkeley briefly many years ago. I’d forgotten the enchanting smell of eucalyptus. It makes the air feel like it’s purifying your lungs.

My friend Katie told me that these beautiful trees are an invasive species. They aren’t meant to be there, and they cause problems for the native vegetation.

I can’t help loving them anyway.

eucalyptus-1Photo by jar (away) via Creative Commons on Flickr.

But I’m a die-hard New Englander. That’s why I came back to this region when I had the chance to settle in Berkeley and start a west-coast life.

I missed the radio stations that started with “W” instead of “K”. I missed the straightforwardness of New Englanders. Many of us are reserved, but if we become your friend, we’re your friend. In CA, there’s a lot more surface sweetness, but I found fewer genuine connections.

I missed birch trees. They aren’t fragrant, but I grew up climbing up their smooth gray-and-white branches.

birches-1Photo by Nicholas A. Tonelli via Creative Commons on Flickr.

I often toy with the idea of leaving Boston, of moving to Adelaide, Australia, or Pittsburgh, PA. Somewhere where the people are down-to-earth and where the cost of living is reasonable.

Will I be an invasive species, if I do that?

I have a lot of loved ones rooting me here, for sure…

Dream of a White Cat

Image by Leon Rice-Whetton via Creative Commons.

I’m scared of cats, so it’s probably not surprising that one tried to rip my guts out in a dream the other night.

It was fluffy and white, kind of like the spoiled gourmet kitty from the old Fancy Feast commercials. But there was a manic gleam in its eye.

And it was strong! It put one paw on my chest to hold me down, and then used the claws on its other paw to rip my belly open. I woke up terrified.

Deep hidden meaning

I pondered what this dream might signify. The cat was aiming for my stomach and guts. That made me think about fertility. Specifically, getting older and losing my ability to become pregnant.

I’m fine with not having kids, if that’s how things play out. I can also see myself adopting a foster child, or becoming a stepmom. Or finding a partner who enjoys being childfree.

But getting pregnant is a glorious mystery. Am I really happy leaving it to other Sherlocks to solve?

Image by Valentina Storti via Creative Commons.

Ghost of a chance

I firmly believe that there are many ways to lead a strong, satisfying life. And many of them don’t have to include parenting.

Still though. It will be heart-rending when my body lets me know it’s no longer going to be easy to conceive. Having that choice taken away will be tough.

Dueling creatures

The cat of infertility, of aging, of diminished choices is glaring at me from the corner of my subconscious.

What fierce animal in my psyche will chase it away?