October 20th and day 20 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I did not write yesterday. It’ll be 4 days that I have missed so far but who’s counting, eh? I’ve been juicing our Concorde grapes. We had a big harvest. Last year I got only 2 glasses. This year 5 one-liter bottles so far. I’m a tuckered little homemaker. I wanted to rest yesterday but the grapes were getting ripe and riper, falling out of their skins. I had to finish processing them. I juiced 2 bottles and froze the rest. My fingertips are still bluish and achy from all the squishing and washing.
I had no spare energy at the end of the day but I did practice my piano. Knowing how to play one was one of my top wants on my wish when I was growing up in Maidstone, Saskatchewan. We were poor and couldn’t afford such luxuries. When we did get an old rinky dinky one, we couldn’t afford lessons. It made a nice piece of furniture and we played it however we could. It was a big deal when I finally fulfilled this wish in my late 40s. I can read music enough to play very basic piano even though I’ve taken lessons on classical piano up to Grade 3. I even enjoyed practicing scales. However, I did drop the lessons and playing. It happened. Now I’m getting back to it. I will never be a good pianist but I enjoy the exercise. It’s what counts – joy in playing.
I’ve talked about the other items on wishlist before – learning to ride a bike and learning to swim. I never had the opportunity to do either when I was young for the same reason. We were poor. I can do both now but I am not skilled in either. It’s harder to master those skills when you are an adult. As an adult, I am full with fear of failing, falling and drowning. I worked long and hard at both to overcome my fears. I am proficient enough to enjoy both activities. Now I am hampered by the closing of the pool where I have been swimming. I will have to find another where I will be comfortable. My neighbourhood is high in traffic so I didn’t even get my bike out this summer. I will do better next year.
I still have fears. Though we’ve had exceptional sunny warm October days, they are shorter. The mornings are dark until 7 before it starts to light up. I feel twinges of my seasonal affectiveness then and in late afternoon, especially when I am tired. I close my eyes and try to picture all the gold and oranges of autumn. Somehow they help to dispel some of the cold goose bumpy feelings. And a cuppa and adding to my wish list always help.
It’s Saturday morning shining down. I woke to a plus 1.5℃ in the greenhouse. It is now 2.9℃ and -3℃ outside at 9 am. I’m sounding like a weather station, aren’t I? I’m recording history, not trusting my memory. I’m at that age now where I have to put my medications in a pill box organizer. I’m at that age when tying my shoe laces and clipping my toe mails are also a problem. I have to rely on my wits and not my physical agility. Too bad I can’t have both at the same time.
Saturday morning. I used to go swimming Saturday mornings not so long ago. It’s a has been. Then I took up the skis. Now it will be another has been until next winter or the next snowfall. I wonder if I can be as enthusiastic and dedicated on a bicycle. I’m not skilled, agile or at home on it at tall. I even fell off a tricycle once. I used to walk Sheba every day. Now I’m walking my fingers on the keyboard. I’m still exercising.
It is Saturday morning. I’m slow but not quite at a standstill. I couldn’t talk myself into tackling my sourdough tout suite upon wakening as I had planned the night before. But it is divided, folded, shaped into 2 loaves. They are dusted with cornstarch, wrapped and chilling in the fridge. They will be baked after my regular loaves this afternoon or evening. It is going to be a slow bake Saturday. Now for my second cup of tea.
Yesterday, I got back up on my horse, the bike, to see if I can ride it again. It’s been 20 some years since I was on it. I tried a couple of years ago but my confidence was gone and I failed and I fell and didn’t get back on.
It’s funny about the things that matter to a person. It’s odd about the things that matter to me. Getting back on the bike matters to me. So out to the back alley I go. I decide that the dirt was no harder to fall on the pavement of an empty school parking lot. Besides, I have more privacy. I do not want laughing eyes upon this mature fool falling off a bike.
Do you know how scary it is getting on a bike, especially when you have short legs and your feet no way can touch the ground even with the seat lowered to the max? But….I once rode this baby to work in traffic. I should be able to do it again. There’s that word again….SHOULD.
With SHOULD echoing in my mind, I line my bike behind my neighbour’s fence beside some pipes where I could rest my foot and push off. I breathe, I push, I fall….Too many grooves in the ground. I could not get enough momentum to stay upright.
I dust myself off, pick up the bike and scan for another starting off spot. I line myself along some landscape ties behind another fence. Perfect! I breathe and pushed off. I cannot describe the fear I felt as I pushed off, letting go of gravity, letting go of touching something solid. But I remain upright, riding down the back alley.
So back and forth I went in the alley. I chose a place with a higher grassy bank to stop and get off, in case I fall off instead of getting off. To my delight, the spot was high enough for me to push off from, too. I’m learning to breathe and PUSH OFF, letting go and trusting in the universe and the law of gravity.
BREATHE, PUSH OFF, LET GO of fear and the shoulds of perfection. Practice makes better.