One of Those Perfect Moments

A random, everyday drive.  Nothing special.  Nine o’clock in the morning. On my way to the post office as I do every Thursday or so since lockdown to pick up the company mail before making my way to the office.  Only this morning, as I left the house CBC Music was playing a version of Debussy’s Claire de Lune by Janina Fialkowska.  So gorgeous.

As I drove down the street that runs along City Hall Park, I could see the two huge weeping willows (not mine that I am forever claiming) waving in the wind.  They seemed to sway in time with the music – the point in the music, about two or so minutes into it.  Perfection.  I had this feeling of peace settle over me in the most beautiful way.

I continued onto the post office but this music and that image were still with me, so before making my way to the office, I just had to stop at this park and walk along the path that winds through it,

then across the newly fallen snow so I could get the proper angle of one of the trees, still blowing in the chill morning air.

It truly is all about the simple things in life, isn’t it?

 

 

Last Days of January

Bitter cold

does not keep me in

though no sun

shines, at first

and grey takes over the blue

I’ll find photo ops

 

Reflections

I’ll find for Merril

fungi for

Crispina

winter scenes for Rochelle, to

bring to life with paint

Time to go

The sun’s going down

Mitts not needed

Now back on

Legs now heavy, must go. What

will tomorrow bring?

A new day

I’m off to explore

Steps to get

sights to see

No expectations, just joy

at being outside

 

Snowshoes, skis

lots of families

fat wheel bikes

sharing space

no lack of activities

smiles are not lacking

Golden Hour

gives a special glow

a signal

that next comes

a chance to transform the skies

with sunset’s paintbrush

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In My Bones

It’s been a while since I participated in dVerse and this one called to me to join in.  Linda Lee Lyberg is hosting this one and has asked us to write our prosery using the phrase:  ‘Sometimes the great bones of my life feel so heavy,’ taken from Mary Oliver’s beautiful poem entitled “Spring Azures: A Farwell to Darkness” 144 words.  Sometimes that is just enough.

I keep a cheerful disposition; I am the epitome of positive. Do not think me foolish or idealistic for I am also a realist. I choose to not let on that sometimes the great bones of my life feel so heavy, I know not if I can take another step, smile another smile.

But I do, and do you know why I choose this? Because I feel it deep in my gut that this is a limited time offer and I cannot afford to waste a single moment of it. I know that, miracles aside, the end will come sooner rather than later. That part is out of my hands. What isn’t, is cherishing each moment, be they full of bliss or hurt like hell.

I know that one day I will look back and smile without tears because I chose as I did.

 

Who Are We To Judge? – Crimson’s Creative Challenge #111

Why not?  It’s not like I have last minute shopping, wrapping, cooking, showering… Oh dear!  Off I go!  Thank you Crispina for your weekly challenge of fun, fun, fun!

Would you look at him up there, lording it over everyone with that pose!

He really doesn’t have to show off in that manner.

Who does he think he is, anyway?

Heard tell he worked bloody hard to get up there.  I think we shouldn’t judge.

Yeah maybe.  But he’s alone.

Maybe that’s how he wants it.

If you say so.  What about that poor bugger. What’s up with his story?  Riches to rags?

Nah, he’s low maintenance Doesn’t require much.

Not too good at choosing his perch, obviously. It’s awfully wobbly.

Maybe he likes adventure. Who are we to judge?

What about us?  We’ve done all right, don’t you think?

Absolutely.  It’s nice to be happy with what you have, yes?

Yes.  But would it hurt you to turn around when you talk to me, though?

Oh. Sorry, Mate.

That’s okay. Go back to sleep. I won’t judge your lack of manners.

 

December, We Reminisce

Lilian is hosting prosery Monday on dVerse – yeah, yeah, it’s Tuesday.  We are to use the phrase:  “Reading what I have just written, I now believe”. December, no matter how much I try, gets rather consumed with memories. I figure it’s not worth fighting with them.

It’s December, we reminisce.

Dear Mick,

In ten days you would have been 57. And three days after that, it’ll be six years since you took your leave. I don’t want to say where does the time go, but, bloody hell, where? Your light shone so damn bright, you’ve left a glow within everyone who met you. I wonder if you ever realised what power you had?  Why friends of yours, family of mine, acquaintances met along your path always, ALWAYS bring you up at some point in our “How are you? Great to see you. What’s new?” conversations. We all fell under your spell and miss you.

Lotsa love, Rog

Reading what I have just written, I now believe that it’s okay to allow myself a moment to miss him, that it doesn’t mean I’m stuck in the past and life is still beautiful.

Glorious Autumn

dVerse spoke to me today!  Kim from Writing in Norfolk is hosting and today’s theme is:  Haibun Monday: Being But Human – what is it she is asking? This:   to write about a time when you last watched stars, a storm, the sea, an animal, or something else in nature that left you with a sense of wonder or awe. Aim to write no more than three tight paragraphs, followed by a traditional haiku that includes reference to a season. Hmmm. Here goes:

 

 

As I walk along in an autumn woods with no sounds save the crunch of dried leaves beneath my feet, the wind rustling the leaves above me and maybe the occasional trill of a bird I find my heart slowing, my breath deepening, my muscles relaxing and my mind freeing itself from whatever worries I might have.  As this happens, I become more aware of my surroundings:  I marvel at the velvety, almost neon green moss growing on fallen trees.  I delight in the different kinds of fungi growing here and there:  white, bright yellow, striped greys, polka-dotted red.  I watch and smile at the antics of squirrels and chipmunks darting here and there, looking for nuts they will hide away for the winter.  The sky is a shade of blue not seen the rest of the year, which makes the yellows and reds and oranges pop all the more.  I am blessed to live through this season every year.

Colours brilliant
Fall into crispy ground
Joy is found in death

Weekend Writing Prompt #179 – Lucid

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend. How you use the prompt is up to you. Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like. Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise. If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments. Should you want to play along, click here and leave a link in Sammi’s comments.

 

Wind and leaves create a symphony
in the crisp, autumnal air

Sun renders all it touches
with a lucid and effulgent glow

No deer, no beavers,
no racoons, to be seen

But loons and mallards
caterpillars, a frog

add to the luminescent day

 

 

 

Mindful(less?)ness

Free the space for nothingness

It was August 7th when David Kanigan suggested I write a post based on my response to his post “You Missed That…”  Here we are, the last day of August and I am finally writing it.  I did start composing last night but it took me so long to find David’s post because my computer decided to be slower than molasses in January that I abandoned the project in frustration and decided to watch the second half of “Chef’s Table with Jeong Kwan” because watching the first half the night before is what brought me back here in the first place.

So, here I am now.  My response to D.K.’s post was this:

Yes. Mindfulness is a state of being.
It’s funny. On Wednesday, while sitting in my canteen, for a “quiet moment” (i.e. no customers, everything stocked, nothing needing my attention) I was so aware of just how many sounds I am being bombarded with in that tiny space. The hum of the three fridges – each their own sound, the clicking of the hot plate, the whir of the A/C, the flapping of my protective plexiglass “window” every time a breeze came. It was both disconcerting and oddly soothing at the same time.

David’s response was:

You should write a post based on this comment. That’s beautiful.

Kiki seconded the motion and, after a chat on Messenger with Sawsan, I said I would.  Thank goodness I didn’t say when I would do it!

As I worked yesterday, I kept thinking of Jeong Kwan and her being present in the moment – giving herself completely with an open heart and love to whatever task she is doing.  I decided to try to be mindful (instead of incredibly bored) as I made the sandwich fillings:  weigh the meat, calculate the percentages of the add-ins needed as per the recipe such as mayo, sour cream, old-fashioned grain mustard, etc.; take out the food processor, wash and chop the celery, add to bowl sitting on scale, add each ingredient by weight, mix with spatula.  Then, process ham or chicken (or pass hard-boiled eggs through a cooling grid) and add to bowl. Remove my ring and go in with my hands (except for the eggs) to mix well as it is way way more efficient. Feel the cold ingredients and their textures as I lift and fold, almost in a kneading motion, scraping sides of bowl with the side of my hand to bring into the mix.  Let my mind remain empty as I do it, focussing solely on the task, a meditative state.  For me, this is the form of meditation that works for me – besides walking. Of course, today, of all days, I was disrupted by a client who scared the bejeezus out of me by calling out.  No matter. I was able to get back into that frame of mind after I got him his hot dog.

By being mindful, it somehow felt less monotonous; less brain-draining. It helped me give meaning to a simple, repetitive task that I do three times per day, twice per week.  Does this mean I love it? Hell no. Not even close.  What it has done is confirm that I definitely do not want to work in the food preparation business ever again.  I shall, however, not leave them hanging and finish my season. Even if it kills me. Slowly.  Is it mid-October yet?

Dishes done for the third time, vacuum-formed packs put away, I was able to relax between sporadic customers. It had rained non-stop on Tuesday so I was frankly surprised there were as many golfers as there were. The air was crisp; the wind, fierce, the grass certainly soggy, and yet there they were.  They truly are a special breed of fanatic.

I sat there, trying to read when the various hums and clicks got my attention and I realised this was the reason for this post in the first place!  So I set my timer to see just how often the two most annoying and loud items go off.  The vent, the air-conditioning, the small fridges each have their own humming sound that remains constant.  The hotplate starts an almost frenetic clicking sound that goes up to reach its crescendo then slows down until the clicks are more intermittent. The cycle takes 2:35:42 exactly – I timed it.  Twice.  The big-ass Foster fridge motor starts off with a thud and a shudder and this odd echoey-rattly sound before lowering into a loud hum. The cycle takes about 5:03:07.  I timed it twice but missed the start by about 5 seconds as my phone had turned off and frankly, I hear the damn thing all day, I was done focusing on it for this.  I have noticed one of the other fridges has its own sort of shuddering restart or whatever you want to call it but I didn’t bother with it.  I actually took this video two days after David’s post, thought I’d try to redo it and then decided meh. This’ll do to give you an idea.

I have never spent so much time alone and in my head, as I have since I started this job on June 18th. Yes, there are busy moments and lots of customers but they come and go quickly, in a rush to hit their first or back nine. It’s not like serving in the restaurant of the previous golf club I worked for where you get to know the customer’s names and favourite beers and create a rapport.  Sure, there are quite a few regulars, here:  Monsieur Pomme, who orders an apple-oatmeal muffin every single time – and says not a single word other than to order, or now, smile as I put his muffin on the counter before he asks; or Mr. Oxford (from whence he hails) who orders his coffee with four laits – pronounced lays (milks). There are friendly and not-so-much-so types and no one lingers.  That’s to be expected in a canteen or casse-croûte, as we call it.

Random view from my window to distract you from how long this post is

Employees come to get their lunches and snacks as well and some, a few only, take a moment to chit-chat. Other than that?  Me, myself and I.  And my head. And my thoughts.  And the incessant humming and clicking.  I tried putting the radio on to drown out some of it but, being under a cement terrace, the reception is not always without the grating scratchy sound of not quite being on the channel – you remember those? A radio with a dial that you have to adjust ‘just so’ to get your station? I know, I know, I should simply download some music on my phone but honestly? I don’t think of it.  Regardless, it’s not worth it, it just adds to the cacophony.

Somehow this post has not turned into what I thought it would. So since it was a reflective piece, I’ll leave you with a nice little reflection of the setting sun on my just rained-on street.

 

 

Running Diary and Mother’s Day

I was going to do little updates on my running highs and woes as a little footnote on blog posts but then felt they didn’t belong tagged onto prompts so I resisted.  Now, I have three sessions’ worth! Enough to merit their own post. Sorta.  Though this makes it a too-long post.

I am surprising myself with my commitment to this running biz. Every two days, rain or shine, ass-freezing cold or sun. Okay, let’s be honest, the only rain I have encountered thus far is a few drops at the beginning of one run and even less at the end of another. Real rain?  We’ll see how much of a wuss I am! I did, however, run through some snowflakes so that makes me a warrior, right?  Said snowflakes didn’t even last a second once arrived at destination (ground) but still.  Right?

Wednesday’s (May 6) run was it was warm enough to do without a jacket and I found a little fanny pack for my phone, the armband still missing.  I am so very pleased to say that not once did I wonder “how many more miles” so to speak and got all the way to the other end of the secret garden. Though I was managing to breathe rather well, I was running out of gas and may have fudged the last 10-15 seconds of the run part on the last two sets.  Out of guilt, I added another 2.5 sets to make up.

Random picture taken during my walk back. Will be noting the evolution

On Friday, I had to get up early as my car was being towed to the dealership. It died and no matter what we tried, would not start. Fun stuff. Not. This also meant I had to get my run in earlier as I knew, if they were able to fix it (which they did), I’d have to pick it up before 3:00 pm.  It was damn cold.  I also joined a 30-day 15-minutes/day free workout program I found on Facebook.  Betty Rocker Challenge.  Oh boy!  This is gonna be good!  I love how she has variations on each move to match your fitness level.  I am especially glad that I lost any ego I used to have which would make me do what I shouldn’t.  I did that workout – man can a person sweat in fifteen minutes!  Put on my jacket plus my ear warmers and out the door I went.  Since I had already more than warmed up, I started to run immediately.  Surprise, surprise, this was my best day, yet! Phone in my pocket, I never once looked at it.  The first two sets are still a bitch but by the third all the way to the tenth, I was good. Because I had started right outside my door, I made it just to the entrance of the garden before turning back.  I reached the park where the above bud was pictured – and forgot to take an updated pic – and decided I would tack on three more sets again.  I even ran around the “skating rink” to give myself more room to run off the asphalt.

I realised in the last few running days that I catch my breath faster so starting Sunday, I was going to reduce the walk time to 1.5 minutes, keeping the running at 2.

While walking Zeke, I got a call at 1:30 saying car was ready so had to cut the walk short.

Bye-bye car!

And that brings us to yesterday. Mother’s Day. Does that mean I slacked off? No siree!  This chick is on a mission!

Iain got up early (any time before 3:00 pm is early 😉 ) and made me his fabulous cheffy scrambled eggs.

I then putzed around on the computer, giving myself time to digest before hitting the 15-minute workout followed by my run. Oh. Em. Gee!  Betty! Can’t the Full-Body Explosion happen on a non-running day? Sweat and cursed my out-of-shapedness.  Bundled up and out the door I went.  Again, the run started outside my door. Jesus, Mary and Joseph!  It was fucking cold! And the wind… good gawd, the wind!  How was I supposed to turn the inner dialogue off and not give up right away? The litany of “keep going”, “don’t give up”, “around the corner, it will be better” just went on like a broken record.  Again, first two sets – murder.  Wait! Shit!  I forgot to change my walk time to 1.5.  Damnation.   I changed it.  Now I know I could have easily set it to 8 sets, having done two, but thought, no… let’s just start over.  My steps were short, my pace was slow but it was in a forward direction, so there’s that, right? Right.  Though I am fairly certain I saw a turtle pass me, look back with a snort and said “slowpoke”.

Pretend those clouds are the wind…

I did not make it as far as I had on Friday but I did manage to refrain from looking at my timer all the way. Why is this so hard?  Oh yeah, that little thirty seconds less of recup time made quite the difference.  Plus, like the proverbial camper who changes seats only to have the smoke blow in my face, so did the wind shift. Ugh. Once I made it to the park that tells me I am almost home, I decided to add that one extra set as the last three runs included three extra.  Why not? Besides, look at that path. Isn’t it lovely and inviting?

Stretch and shower and off to visit Mom.  I had her yeast to deliver and brought a case of beer for Yvon.  We took all the necessary precautions. I opened the case, had her take a couple beers out and then put the case aside to “air out and release the virus” so to speak. We washed our hands, sat at either end of the table and toasted motherhood with glasses of wine for us and a beer for him.

Got home around 7 pm and Iain prepared his feast of homemade linguine with seafood in a creamy sauce. He was so displeased with his efforts, he is planning on a do-over.  I, frankly, love all the effort he made for me.  We then had the most delicious coffee and brandy crème brûlée for dessert (my picture sucks, the angle was wrong, but trust me, that caramel was burnt to perfection).  I then sat on the couch and thought I would die from over eating.

Thanks for staying till the end… I promise to ramble less, next time.  Well, I will try not to, anyway.

 

 

Weekend Writing Prompt #150 – Continuity

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend. How you use the prompt is up to you. Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like. Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise. If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments.

Thank you, Sammi.

Where do I find my continuity?

In each breath that I breathe

In each hour that I rest

In the nourishment that feeds my body, mind, and soul

In living with truth, humour and grace