Tunisia at Sunset. Morocco in the heavy heat of the night. Paris in the bustle of dinner time.
In these times of quarantine, I’ve found adventures in the most wonderful app. It’s Hellotalk. Fellow language learners reach out to practice their english with me, while I practice my feeble french. With the time change, it’s often hard to connect in usual times to others in far off locales. The benefit of these crazy times, is everyone’s sleep schedule is out of whack.
So Ottoman from Morocco munches on popcorn drizzled with chocolate at 3 am in the morning and talks to me about Life. It is as magical as one would imagine. Kal gets up on top of his roof to take a picture of the sunset in Tunisia for me. Sofiane in Paris tells me what she will make for dinner.
This time of Quarantine has connected and united all of us in so many ways. We speak of the boredom. Our governments. We speak of what we miss. We laugh at the absurdity of life in quarantine and what we will do when it’s over.
And we practice our respective languages. We encourage each other to make mistakes and to push past our comfort zones.
We are all just a gorgeous kaleidoscope of heart beats scattered over this wonderful blue green jewel we live on. Catapulting through a starry universe. Enjoying the gifts of our various countries even in this limited time.
We are all the same no matter where we live on the globe. We love our families, our cultures. We treasure good health and a peaceful land. I pray we are all back to regular activity soon.
In the meantime, I will enjoy my armchair travels. Life is a beautiful, beautiful thing.
I love throwing on the Cloak of Chef. Artist. Homemaker. Health Nut. Teacher. Ballet Dancer. There’s so many lovely cloaks we can put on and they transport us into a new facet of our identity.
I’m no Gordon Ramsey. I’m not Picasso. I’m not Martha Stewart or Doctor Oz. I’m not the Dalai Lama and I’m certainly not the famous Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova.
But each bright morning presents a new stage. Dawn’s curtain opens as the birds welcome us to the stage. The sun beckons us like the stage lights to come celebrate our talents and ambitions.
So take a moment. Write your script. Figure out what cloaks you want to wear on this stage of life today. The options are endless. Don’t worry, there’s the inevitable plot twists but there’s always going to be new beautiful costumes to wear. They just may be different from the ones you had in your mind.
So, cook to your hearts content and when you tire of that paint a little picture. Organize a drawer and make a healthy meal. Take a moment for meditation and plie if you choose in the hall mirror. And smile.
Above all, dance your own dance.
What a shame if we just stand in the shadows of another’s dance, imitating their every move. There will be no authenticity or joy to be found. For Christians, this is the sin of emulations. We aren’t here to emulate each other. We are here to inspire each other. By our own uniqueness.
I hope you wear each cloak with excitement and I hope you abandon each one with the same fervour. Knowing that with each cloak is new adventures to be experienced.
If you need a good stir to the belly, go stand under the tall fir trees. Hear the wind, wind itself (wind, wind ….don’t you love the wonderful strangeness of the English language?) through their long sturdy limbs.
Do you feel it stirring deep in your soul? Close your eyes and you’ll feel it. There it is, I can hear and feel in my memory. Even as a child the fir trees swaying behind my house always meant a good storm was coming and would wash away the old and tired, and I would wake up in the morning to a shiny and bright earth.
We often hear of winds of change. It’s best when those winds come in gentle and blow old attitudes and narrow thinking away and bring us into a cleaner, brighter and more expansive new future.
Bitter tired minds will say we live in a sad world. But not me. I say we are in days of positive change. Never has the world been so supportive of women, culture, ethnicity, religion. We have a long ways to go. But I feel the wind.
(this is fleur…but you can’t capture the feel by picture,can you?...)
Some of You may Remember Him. He’s owns the French Brasserie where I call my Second Home down my street. He’s a Wild Man. He has a wonderful mane of wavy grey hair and the perfect amount of stubble. A wide smile that comes easily. He gesticulates wildly as he regales you with wonderful tales from my Dream Country. His Homeland.
So today as I was walking Charlie, my steps slowed as I passed my Favourite Haunt. It’s windows dark. I stop to read the sign that said,
“We Miss You. Take Care of Your Loved Ones.”
With a Sadness in my heart, I started to walk away. I got a few steps away when I heard his booming voice and the familiar accent. “Is that You?” ” Come, come, please come in”. There’s Patrice. Beckoning me wildly as he holds the door open for me.
Stepping through the heavy leather curtain as I’ve enjoyed stepping through so many times, I see all the chairs upturned on those dear sweet tables. Instead of family style dining there’s just one round table now. The table is littered with balance sheets and paint chips. Patrice’s little espresso cup with the remnants of that wonderful bitter froth lining the sides. And there’s his ash tray with the saying “I’ll quit tomorrow. I think”. He chain smokes. Very French and Fitting. Two men, Patrice Clones , are sitting on the leather bench. They smile so welcoming at me as I sit down on the chair Patrice is holding for me.
I Can’t Believe My Luck.
I spent a Delicious Hour there. Treasuring the dark flavours of Cappuccino in my Darling Black Cup and the Wonderfully Colourful Stories of Patrice’s World. How he Fled France the day after Lockdown. What it was like on His Travels. Of his Family. The Quaint Little Hotel he stays in when he’s there. He Tests my Francais. Speaking Slowly and sometimes Sighing and Throwing His Hands Up and Smiling Wryly at me. He says, “C’est sans espoir!!” My French is Hopeless he teases.
I don’t know about you, but I Live for these Serendipitous Moments. Where Bright Colourful People come into your World and Change It Forever.
It’s All About Each Other. It’s Smiles. It’s Connection. It’s Stories. It’s Laughter. It’s Support. It’s “We’re In This Together” Spirit.
So Tonight, I’m Going to Bed with a Full Heart. Thank You Life. Thank You World. Thank You Patrice.
Sitting at our Easter Table with the Remnants of Lemon Pie in front of me and crumbs dusting the tablecloth, my heart Flooded With Memories.
The light was growing Dim and the white plates and my daughter’s leftover coffee gleamed in the Coming Twilight. A wonderful Dusky Blue was settling over the Night Sky.
I’ve always Adored The Dusk. It settles over the Earth like a mother placing a quilt over her tired baby. Quietly and Tenderly.
I think of all my dear Earth Mothers.
Especially my Nana.
So many Dusky Twilights I spent sitting with her in her Sweet Kitchen. Her sitting in her rocking chair. She would tell me stories and I would just listen. Mostly just lulled into a sweet peace by the sound of her foot rhythmically pressing into the floor and the gentle wheezing of her breath between her sentences.
I would sit listening to her on a wooden kitchen chair. Wedged by the porch door and a little table. Her beside me. Until the Dusk became the Dark and we no longer could distinguish the features on each others faces.
I would rise and say I was heading home. She so sweetly would thank me for my visit and then the screen door with the loud springs would welcome me into the night air.
I would run for home. Sure that there was a Monster on my tail, I ran like the Dickens. My little blonde braids trailing behind me. The sound of my feet on the gravel sounded my terror.
Out of breath, I’d arrive across the road in my sweet little white warm bungalow. I would rest, happy to escape the Night Monsters grasp. Warmed by another Sweet Twilight Visit with Nana.
So as I sit looking at the Remnants of Easter Dinner, I’m so Utterly Grateful for Family. Both Blood Related and those Born Of Soul Connection.
Where would we be without Each Other.
My door will Always Be Open. For a Twilight Visit. We can talk til the Dark Envelops Us. Then I’ll Kiss you Goodbye. The Night Air will feel So Fresh as I stand by the door, Waving you into Tomorrow.
What a Beautiful Mess. Nothing makes me Happier than Barbra Streisand and Baking in My Messy Kitchen.
Barbra is singing “Somewhere”.
Someday …Somewhere…We’ll Find a New Way of Living…
Kind of Apt for Life these Days.
I don’t know what it is These Days, but I feel like I want to Roll A Cot into my kitchen. I want to Eat, Sleep and Breathe all things Kitchen. I love the act of Flipping My Lamp On. I realize it’s a Bit Odd to have a lamp in your kitchen, but I love Anything more by Lamplight. Turn on some Jazz. Preferably Barbara Streisand these days. And Flipping a Cookbook as my dog Charlie lays her sweet frame by my feet.
I love the Sound of Sizzling Butter. The smell of Yeast Rising. Boiling Water on the Stove.
There’s no other Room in my Sweet Home that brings me this much Comfort. Where else can I Stumble at 3 a.m. and peel back the cellophane and hold a rich, gooey brownie in my sleepy hands.? Is there anything better than a Stolen Sweet Snack in the middle of the night?
Or peel a wonderful Navel Orange standing over the sink and let the Wonderful Citrus Aroma and Flavour awaken you for a Brief Moment so I can find my way back to my little bedroom at the back of my Cottage. And curl up again under the warm duvet for a couple more Sweet Hours.
Our Homes are our Sanctuaries. Especially our Kitchens. I wonder how many of us are getting Reacquainted? Trying New Recipes? Letting the Old Ones calm our Senses and Bring Continuity in a truly Unprecedented Time.
I’m So Grateful I Can Hardly Stand It.
Words Fail Me to fully describe how much I Appreciate Safety. Continuity. Quietness in this Harried Time.
I have Learned over the Span of Life that my Feelings are Common. So I pray you are all feeling Calm and Centered in your Homes.
And Enjoying 3 am Stolen Confectionaries from the Pantry.
Outside my kitchen window, a Spring Snow is falling. Big Fat Flakes. I can feel the Hush settling as it always does over the City. Everything gets Quieter. But then there’s a Realization.
It Reminds me of Ashes.
There’s a Refining Fire Burning. It’s Aflame all over the World. A Proving Fire.
Our Finances are Burnt Away as Chaff. So Many Dreams Up in Smoke. Lives Snuffed Out way Too Early.
But as Gold is Not Dimmed but only Shines Brighter in the Fire, I See Your Gold.
I see those who Stay Home to not Tax our Burdened Health Care Systems. To Protect the Elderly. The Immune Suppressed.
I see CEO’s taking The Hit. Sacrificing their Salaries to keep their staff Employed.
I see Doctors working Too Long of Shifts. Nurses quietly weeping from Exhaustion in their Cars. Missing their Families.
I saw the USS Comfort pull into Harbour.
I see my fellow Calgarians wave to me So Kindly as I give them a wide wide berth when I’m out walking Charlie.
I’ve been a Recipient of many a Caring Phone Call. My Bosses at Gowling. My Churchgoing Brothers and Sisters.
Many I Love Yous and Stay Wells from even the Introverted and those Uncomfortable with Affection.
I cant help But Feel, when all this Settles, and the Ashes No Longer Float through our Grief Stricken Air, that we will be Better For It. Stronger For It. Kinder For It.
Yes, we see Mistakes Being Made by Governments. Even our Neighbours. But maybe we can just in our Own Corner, Shine a Little Brighter. Love a Little Harder. Let the Ashes Fall where they Will. Let it Quieten Us. Hush our Egos. And Create a New Dawn. A New Awakening in Each One of Us.
I Love You.
Devant la fenêtre de ma cuisine, une neige de printemps tombe. Je peux sentir le silence s’installer comme il le fait toujours au-dessus de la ville. Tout devient plus silencieux. Mais alors il y a une Réalisation. Cela me rappelle des cendres.
Il y a un feu de raffinage. C’est Aflame partout dans le monde. Un feu qui prouve. Nos finances sont brûlées en tant que paillettes. Tant de rêves dans la fumée. Il vit trop tôt.
Mais comme l’or n’est pas grisé mais ne brille que plus dans le feu, je vois votre or. Je vois ceux qui restent à la maison pour ne pas taxer nos systèmes de soins de santé surchargés. Pour protéger les personnes âgées. L’immunité supprimée.
Je vois le PDG prendre le coup. Sacrifier leurs salaires pour garder leur personnel employé.
Je vois des médecins qui travaillent trop longtemps. Les infirmières pleurent doucement d’épuisement dans leurs voitures. Manquer leurs familles.
J’ai vu l’USS Comfort entrer dans le port.
Je vois mes compatriotes calgariens me saluer si gentiment que je leur donne une large place quand je sors avec Charlie.
J’ai reçu de nombreux appels téléphoniques attentionnés. Mes patrons à Gowling. Mes frères et sœurs fidèles.
Beaucoup je t’aime et reste bien même des introvertis et des mal à l’aise avec l’affection.
Je ne peux pas m’empêcher de sentir, quand tout cela s’installera et que les cendres ne flotteront plus dans notre air de chagrin, que nous serons meilleurs pour cela. Plus fort pour ça.
Oui, nous voyons des erreurs commises par les gouvernements. Même nos voisins. Mais peut-être que nous pouvons simplement dans notre propre coin, briller un peu plus. Aimer un peu plus fort. Laissez les cendres tomber où elles le voudront. Que cela nous calme. Faites taire nos Egos. Et créez une nouvelle aube. Un nouvel éveil en chacun de nous.