About Me

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Born in the US, raised on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, lived in Italy, the US, and Canada. Lover of language, travel, colour, and the natural world.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Rubber ducky & the perfume of lilacs

This evening I came home from work, took a lovely hot bath, lathered up with body lotion, slipped into a sun dress and headed out with purpose for a poetry reading that I thought was happening at the university this evening. I was running kind of late, having taken my time in the bath and then relaxing in the rays that fell across my bedroom floor with the novel that I was determined to finish this evening (The Secret Daughter), so I practically sprinted from the apartment that I live in to the university, arriving short of breath and all sweaty. I rushed up to the faculty lounge and peered in through the door to make sure I would disturb people by coming in late. What I saw through the doors was a room full of chairs. No people. No poets....I got my phone out and checked the Facebook invite again, and indeed the reading is tomorrow evening, not tonight. I stood still for a few moments, trying to figure out how to let the friend who was going to meet me at the end of the event after her statistics class know why I was not there. I scrolled her a note on a piece of scrap paper and headed back out into the evening sunshine, feeling rather silly for not having read more carefully. I have been tired a lot lately. Not just tired -- way over tired, which probably accounts of misreading the date. I was walking across campus beating myself up for all this walking when I was already tired and could have used an evening of taking it easy when I suddenly heard this croaking sound emanating from my purse. Quack, quack, quack. Quack, quack, quack. I stared down at my purse, completely taken off guard, before realizing that I had forgotten to give my friends who I was house-sitting for last week back their keys that they had put on a bright rubber ducky keychain that actually quacks. Standing there in the early evening sunshine with my sore feet and tired eyes and with the walk back home ahead of me I started giggling, then laughing out loud. It felt like the universe was inviting me to laugh at the day. To let go of my frustration and to completely embrace and enjoy what was left of my day.

On my walk back home I took my time. I did not rush. I was not in a hurry. I took in the blue blue sky. The gorgeous flowering bushes. The bright green lawns. The little house with the glassed in front porch common in Atlantic Canada that is on my route that has been for sale for a few months now and had a SOLD sign out front today. I listened to the birds singing their evening songs. And I just relaxed. It felt divine after all the racing around that I do on a daily basis to just take it easy for a little while.

Yesterday when I got home from work it was again a gloriously sunny day. My flatmate Minnie, an elderly woman in her 80s was out on the deck enjoying a tea party with two friends. I joined them briefly, taking in the old teapot, the delicate old fashioned teacups, the home-baked cookies and tarts, the pitcher of milk and silver spoons for stirring in the milk and sugar. The sun was golden, and everything just seemed to glow with warm light. It felt like I was awake in the middle of a really, really good dream! I came into my bedroom, grabbed the pillows off my bed and settled down in a patch of sunlight that streaked across the carpet and up the wall with my novel. Heaven. It was pure heaven.

Today I am grateful for the rubber ducky keychain that quacks. The glorious golden sunshine that falls down through the full leafy canopy of trees and lilac bushes heavy with blossom and heady perfume. I am incredibly grateful for my new job at a time when so many are losing theirs. I am grateful for the fact that I live in such a beautiful spot. For my new apartment that I will be moving into next weekend. For my parents who are incredibly supportive of everything I do. For a bed upon which to rest my tired limbs every night. For the delicious salad I made for supper with locally grown greens. For being able to kick my shoes off of my mosquito bitten swollen feet and feel the cool evening breeze blow over them now as I type. For baths -- morning, afternoon or evening. For my dear friend Rafael who I just found out is getting married at the end of the summer and starting a family of her own. And for the stars that are shining brightly outside and reminding me of a new friend who is a fellow star-gazer. I am also grateful for my prayer book that is gazing steadily at me from across the room urging me in that quiet yet persistent manner that prayer books have to pick her up and say some prayers before my eyes close tonight.

And you, friends? What are you grateful for today?

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