Sunday, July 8, 2012
The birds chirping in my (at first glance) seedy back alley sound the same as they have in all my homes all my life. That is re-assuring. I am sitting here this temperate Sunday morning, sipping tea, all four of my windows open wide to let some fresh air blow through after days of non-stop A/C filling the air listening to this choir of birdsong, backed up with a little traffic whitenoise from the front of the building. It will do.
I have been in my new humbler abode for 9 days now. There are still boxes to unpack, closets to organize, pictures to hang, but this morning, I need this. I need a moment. Moving is exhausting. I have moved twice in a year now. I have too much stuff and not enough storage space. I now have a treadmill adjacent to my living room, which is also my kitchen and dining room. House and Home will not be shooting the next issue in my "small" space, that is a given.
Oddly, however, I am OK with it all. I miss the spectacular view I had in Port Credit, but I sure don't miss the commute into town. I am saving a good hour a day, time that is precious and now I can re-ignite some "me" time that felt like it had been savagely stripped from me when I started my new job in April. I sense a bit of normality returning to my life, whatever that means. In my case, getting back into some of my fitness routines that seemed to be taking the hit the last couple months.
Weathering some major life changes takes its toll. New job, moving, selling house, kid heading off to university. Somehow we manage to "stay calm and carry on". Stay in the moment. Stay in the moment. I repeat this mantra over and over. It helps to not try to look too far ahead and not looking back is generally a good idea as well. Have you ever tried it? Not as easy as it sounds. But it does work. That is not to say that I am able to do it all the time. There are days when I positively suck at it. It is a practice, like meditation and I am practicing.
My view has now been replaced by a wee oasis. This apartment has a sizable deck that faces a back alley. Bamboo walls have been installed on either side for privacy, a new bright green patio umbrella, some tropical plants and flowers, a wall planter full of fresh herbs which were supplemented by the little old Italian woman across the laneway the other day as she gifted me with a handful of basil seedings - all good I say.
It was a sweet welcome. She has a hole cut out of her frost fence that allows her entry from her backyard into the alley. She stooped to pass through with her fist full of sweet smelling basilico and asked me if I spoke Italian. I regretted telling her I did not. She thought I looked Italian she told me. That was a first. She then took me back through the hole in the fence and showed me her garden. Perfect neat rows of tomatoes, swiss chard, green onions, peppers, nary a weed in sight. I praised her efforts and thanked her whole-heartedly for her welcome to the neighbourhood and came back and planted the seedlings.
Come September, I will have lush amounts of fresh basil to add to the countless tomatoes that I have no doubt she will be giving me.
How lucky is that? The new hood is looking better all the time.