Thursday, September 6, 2012

Training for a Perfect loop

Last night I boarded the westbound Southwest Chief in La Plata MO, headed for Las Vegas and five days with my daughter, Jo. No sooner had I settled into my seat when it occurred to me that exactly 27 days from now, Oct 3, I'll be detraining in La Plata from the westbound Southwest Chief on my return home. I'll be traversing a perfect loop, somewhere in the vicinity of 7,000 miles long.

My time at home yesterday was a whirlwind. I was only in Rutledge 18 hours, barely enough time to shower, launder my clothes, refresh the missus (one of my all-time favorite euphemisms, plagiarized from the musical 1776), shoot a promotional video blurb for next summer's Ecovillage Education course at Dancing Rabbit, turn in the accounting from my 12-day East Coast swing concluded at midnight Tuesday, add a quart of oil to the car I drove east (the modern equivalent of rubbing down one's horse after a long ride), open all my mail and pay bills, write personal notes on a dozen FIC membership renewal requests, and crank out 20 pints of tomatillo salsa—just in time for the start of the fall fair season. Whew!

The train was pulling into the station as I eased into the Amtrak parking lot last evening. I smoothly got out of the car, pulled my luggage from the trunk, and walked right on board. If I'd taken time to eat Wed, I'd have missed my connection. Talk about tight choreography! I'm looking forward to and easier pace, where I nod off as I gaze out the window—a luxury I couldn't afford the last fortnight as I drove solo to Virginia and back. Who knows, maybe I'll even get to read a bit and make a dent in my email backlog.

After three weeks in the Pacific time zone, I'll take a red eye to Raleigh/Durham NC, leaving San Francisco late Sept 26, and arriving mildly refreshed (and mildly disoriented) the next day in the Tar Heel State capital. While I take the train whenever I can, I don't have enough time between me final two engagements to make that work: I'm one of the facilitators for the FIC's Social Change Summit in Occidental Sept 24-25, and need to be teaching in Pittsboro NC the evening of the 27th, when I'll start a new round of my two-year facilitation training.

I'll be working in NC with a new training partner, Alyson Ewald, who is a good friend and lives near me at Red Earth Farm. She'll be pinch hitting for Ma'ikwe, who is still too debilitated from her current bout with chronic Lyme disease to be able to answer the bell. I have my fingers crossed that her health will have improved enough to work with me the second training weekend, slated for January.

After Alyson and I wrap up the NC weekend Sunday afternoon, we board the northbound Crescent in Greensboro (at the ungodly hour of 3:44 am Monday morning) to wend our way home via a three-train parlay, the final leg of which is the westbound Southwest Chief from Chicago, dropping us off in La Plata.

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