Personal/Political ~ Josette Brose-Eichar

Josette Brose-Eichar


A good help nevertheless

Posted on December 1, 2023 by Josette Brose-Eichar

At the age of 27 I left Minneapolis for L.A. in my big blue Chevy pickup truck. The road ahead and the possibilities seemed endless. I thought my life would go on and on, forever, no thoughts of death, no thoughts of the end of the road, with Willy Nelson serenading me on the 8-track.

The numbers are now reversed, at 72 the end of the road is clearly in sight. My parents lived to 91 and 98. So if I cut my life up into segments and compare time, I realize how time accelerates as we age.  

I came to Sonoma 21 years ago and it seems like yesterday. If I live as long as my parents, that may be the accelerated time I may have left. When we moved in, the neighbor across the street greeted us with a baby on her hip.  He is now in college.

About a month ago I had a dream that I was a ghost. I was here on the earth and could see, hear, smell, feel everything. But, no one could see me, no one could hear me. I am in love with the natural world and have never followed any religion. So was this dream a heaven or hell?  

I woke up thinking about it and for some reason these words popped into my head, “If you want me again look for me under your boot soles. You will hardly know who I am or what I mean, But I shall be good help to you nevertheless.” I had not thought about Walt Whitman or those words since I was in my twenties. 

Some may think this is a morbid subject and not what I usually write about. Yet, it is now a growing part of my dreams and daytime thoughts. Over my years in the Sonoma valley, I have delved into many issues that can and will change our lives. We confront land use issues that will alter our ecology, bigotry and hatred aimed at government officials and community members, and economic issues that make living here impossible for most workers and families. Working for solutions to issues has taken more and more of my time over the years.  

So now I ask myself, “With maybe the next 20 years left, if I am lucky, should I become more of a me person?”  And as we all know, random chance can shorten or alter any plans or time frames in our lives.

There is joy and for me a sense of the spiritual in long walks, either just around my Springs hood or on the trails of this Valley, this county and this country.  

On vacations spaced out over many years, we have hiked national and state parks.  We have walked up to alpine meadows, sighted mountain goats, walked under waterfalls, climbed to the top of mesas, navigated slot canyons, watched hills mysteriously flatten in the mist and more. So is it time to become a bit more selfish, a bit more me centered?

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