The sun has come out after a showery
and I have taken my handwork
The air smells of wet wood,
Quiet and still, I hear a gull calling in the distance.
The campers in the campground next door
have not yet emerged
from their tents
and their travel
and I savour the moments
before their children
re-discover the chill of the water
begin the business
of chasing squirrels from the trees.
Across the lake, a lone fisherman
and I can hear the faint tick-tick-ticking
I sit in the hot sun
until I begin to feel the trickle
behind my knee
and behind my neck,
under my hair.
the quilt becomes
to hold on my lap.
I put stitching daisies
until the cool of the evening
me to return
You got your first bike when you were four because you had started throwing tantrums and daddy said no way we’re not rewarding bad behaviour but I said he needs his freedom from the daycare kids in the back yard, he is getting older he needs to be allowed to do more, trusted to be a big boy, he is asking us to help him grow up, and so we went to town and you picked out a purple bike with handle bars that came up to daddy’s knee and white training wheels and plastic streamers in the hand grips and we put clickers in the spokes and a helmet on your head and you were allowed to ride from our house to three houses down and back again. You stopped throwing tantrums, and a year later daddy took the training wheels off and ran behind you, back and forth up and down, one hand on the back of the seat, on your back, on your helmet, hovering, hovering, until you looked back and saw him running beside you, look, look, no hands!
This is my 5th installment of Just Write, an exercise in free writing your ordinary and extraordinary moments. I am linking up with The Extraordinary Ordinary. (Please see the details here.)
Mr. C. ( for considerate) went away last week to do some training in Vancouver and then off to visit family and friends for a few days. It was so nice for him because he really needed the break. It was considerate of him to do that, too, because I took the opportunity to take that week off myself. I stayed home. All by myself. Everyday, alone in the house. Because I had a goal…to get the house ready to sell.
It is a big job, physically and emotionally. What did I do in my 10 days? I unpacked every cupboard and closet, washed it inside and out, and sorted things into 3 piles:
Things I want to keep but can live without for the next 6 months
Things I want to keep but can’t live without for the next 6 months
Things I no longer want to keep.
The things I can’t live without until we move went back into the cupboard.
The things I want to take with us but don’t need in the meantime were lovingly wrapped in foam and/or tissue and packed into boxes for moving.
Everything else went into the give-away pile.
Over that week I touched literally everything that I own. I packed away dresses and clothing into boxes.. I boxed up books. I boxed up dishes. I even boxed up a few bits and pieces of my sewing room. My closets and cupboards now look wonderfully inviting…spacious and sparkling clean.
I got onto my hands and knees and wiped the dust off the baseboards. I washed scuff marks off of the walls, I took the photos off of the fridge and looked at each one before packing them away. I cleaned the blinds, I cleaned the tops of the cabinets, I wiped the dust from the tops of the windows. I used Old English oil on the kitchen cabinets, rubbing them until they gleamed like satin.
I wrapped up a memory with every item I packed. I started the process of saying goodbye.
Maybe it is a bit like cleaning and preparing the body of a loved one for burial. Gently touching and caressing and cleaning and in this way preparing both of you for the transition from life before to life after.
Oh, my beloved little house – this is how I am preparing myself to say good bye to you.
This is my 4th installment of Just Write, an exercise in free writing your ordinary and extraordinary moments. I am linking up with The Extraordinary Ordinary. (Please see the details here.)
Today I’m linking up with Heather at The Extraordinary Ordinary. She hosts Just Write, the goal being to write about what is happening around you, freely and without editing or censure, what you see, hear, feel, think. I’m nervous because I’m not a writer, and yet I’m linking to a writing blog. Go figure. And also, I didn’t exactly follow the rules – I didn’t write about things going on around me. I wrote about things going on inside of me. I guess these words just needed to come out.
2012 was a horrendous year for me. I broke down. Like an old car, or an old horse that has walked beyond its last step and can now only stand with head hanging low over the fence rail. Unable to move forward or back. I found myself hitched to a wagon, some rusty old thing with sticky brakes and loaded up with chunks of old concrete and rebar. That’s what it felt like. Depression. My body forgot how to dance. My body and my brain forgot what it was to experience joy. I remember watching the partly frozen river flowing by and wondering what it would be like to go under the ice. Cold at first. But then warm again.
That was exactly one year ago.
I couldn’t work and was granted a 6-week leave of absence. I saw a doctor. I saw a therapist. I got a diagnosis. I started taking citalopram. I started sharing my story on my blog. I asked my friends for help. I started to get better.
One year later, today, I consider myself recovered. Healed, but with scars that still ache once in a while. Like old bones that have been fractured but still occasionally twinge and complain even after they have closed. I am careful with myself. I am frightened of returning to that state. I am chary of becoming overwhelmed, and have been ginger about putting things on my plate. I’ve taken it slow. I started off by committing to sewing one quilt block a month on an on-line quilting bee. Then last term I enrolled in a course simply because I was interested in the subject, but I worried about my ability to juggle it all. A full-time job, a college course and a quilting commitment? Was I well enough? Would I break down again? I was. And I didn’t! I successfully did it all – and enjoyed myself, too! and so this term I have enrolled in another interesting course and have taken on a 2nd quilting commitment (two on-line quilting bees). Though I am nervous, I know it will be okay.
Recently, my body has remembered how to dance.
I haven’t done any formal practice, but not because I can’t…because I don’t feel like it. (Oh how I love being able to say that! I don’t do something “because I don’t feel like it”. How freeing! How empowering!) Instead, I wiggle around the kitchen to whatever strikes me to move at the moment. I realize that I am still a dancer. Yes I am. Just because I’m not practicing at the moment doesn’t make me any less of a dancer. Any less a dance artist. And miracle of miracles…I am starting to miss teaching dance, too. Just because I’m not teaching at the moment doesn’t make me any less of a dance teacher!
Do I have a goal for next year? Are you kidding? The biggest thing I learned during my year of illness and recuperation is that my worth isn’t measured by how much I produce or how much I accomplish. I have intrinsic value. I matter.
I’m back on my balance journey after being knocked off my pins for about a year and a half and it feels great! I’ve been thinking about a lot of things lately, so when a particular post from Nancy at A Rural Journey popped into my inbox at breakfast this morning, I could really relate to it. Nancy did such a beautiful job of expressing what I have been thinking about, and so I wrote to her and asked if I could post her blog post on my blog today (say that fast three times, lol!). She very graciously said yes! Which, I guess makes her my first official guest blogger! Please pop on over and share some love with her for these beautiful words she is sharing with us. Thank you, Nancy!
Eat your peas
Live in the now.
These phrases, although short and to the point, are often overused – the original intent somehow getting lost on us by virtue of their familiarity.
Yet, there are so many books and poems and notable quotes on the subject, I realize as a society, we must ponder the value of our days quite often — as they effortlessly, predictably –blur into one another.
Necessary daily tasks and routines must be accomplished before we can get to the interesting and motivating parts and pieces.
So it seems.
That’s being responsible.
Eat your peas or there will be no apple pie for dessert.
Not that there’s anything wrong with peas. I love peas.
But I’d rather have apple pie.
So here’s my point —
What if the apple pie never comes?
Do we have the forethought, the insight —
to savor, to appreciate the ordinary “peas”
as if they are something special, something sweet,
“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.”
It’s not always easy to do this,
particularly when one day or week
Your perfect child is acting up in school; the dryer and the tv decided to go out simultaneously;
you locked yourself out of your internet banking account. Twice.
The trick is finding small moments of each day, each week — to fully inhabit.
Don’t suffer through the peas to enjoy the apple pie.