michelle fetched me from the airport on saturday... adam was off at some church seminar. have i ever mentioned how talented my children were when it came to choosing their life partners? they did a most excellent job and have provided their dear old mum with two wonderful sons-in-law and a absolutely delightful daughter-in-law!
on the long drive home, michelle had a favour to ask. tuesday would be their wedding anniversary and adam would be away in oxford,he was leaving in the small, wee hours of monday morning, would it perhaps be possible for me to babysit the menagerie so that they could take the trip together and enjoy their anniversary in the same county.
jet lag??? long stop overs at schiphol, amsterdam??? me... exhausted... no way!
me..."not a problem, more than happy sweetheart"
michelle..."thanks mom, you can use my car"
me... "huh, what's wrong with the rav???"
i swear, my lady rav punishes me when i leave her to take a trip overseas. like a thwarted child she rebels and sulks and sets off her own alarm and allows her battery to go completely flat which then does something to the immobilizer. and then we have a problem. especially when she is parked at the farm... out of reach of my garage guy. sigh...
sunday, adam and michelle dropped off her 4x4 at my place, monday i drove up to the farm. today (tuesday) i phoned the RAC and told them my problem.he arrived... the fix it man, breathing kind of heavy. "quite a road you have there" he said.
"you should see it in winter" i said.
fix it man disconnected the immobilizer, managed to start lady rav and informed me in a most doleful voice... "i'm afraid that's all i can do for now, that is one dead battery...won't take a charge...you need a new one..."
why goodness gracious me! did i not have this very problem not so many months ago? how long are batteries supposed to last?. aarrrggghhh!!
fix it man..."take it back to the guy who sold it to you."
yeah right! that guy retired six months ago... even the building he worked from has been demolished...
fix it man departs, leaving lady rav running. i take her for a really long ride, hoping like hell her battery will be juiced up enough to start tomorrow. spoke to my garage guy who has ordered a new battery.he is expecting us at nine tomorrow. will she ... won't she...have i whispered enough apologies for my three week absence, has she found it in her to forgive me as i caress her steering wheel, whispering sweet nothings and weaving tales of magical places we will visit...
home indeed, the comfort of the scottish burr on my ear, surprising, to say the least! since when did... "what in heaven's name are these friggin' people saying?" become... the sweet, familiar sound of home!
of course it was raining...a cause for joy...
evidently there has been no proper rain for about two months. the grass fields...lie sunburned and thirsty.where once water rushed, it now trickles.
new york was great... mostly because herself is there! we did have a bit of a heat wave which nearly did me in. for a south african i am a real wimp when it comes to heat and humidity. scotland's (so called) miserable weather actually suits me to a T.
herself determined that i should... do the tourist thing this time around. once the weather cooled down enough to allow me to even think about straying from the air conditioned comfort of her long island home... the two of us took the train into penn station, a subway to the harbour and a ferry to visit with Lady Liberty. wow!... she is BIG! all in all, a fun day. i managed to devour two giant soft pretzels, i even discovered how good they taste with mustard. i love america... american food... hmmm good... tomorrow my new diet regime starts!
so... i miss the tall oak trees and the squirrels which inhabit them. i miss the bagels and cream cheese, i miss taco bell and friendley's ice cream sundaes. i miss sitting outside, listening to the birds and the breeze making music in the trees. i miss cheap cigarettes and affordable petrol (yeah well... and you should have to pay what we pay!). i miss jones beach, the white sands, artistically sullied with a plethora of empty rubbish bins which march across the sea shore. i miss strawberry twizzlers and hersheys chocolate.i miss the delightful company of herself, a part of this nomad heart now forever belongs to the USA.
A couple of weeks/months ago, herself started to read “a new earth” by eckart tolle. Of course she was eager to share knowledge gained, insights inspired. I, of course thought… “ho hum…another self enlightenment book, same old same old…” In addition… of course, I had been feeling… well, unimpressed with the state of our relationship. We had been tormenting one another for months. I want you, I don’t want you, let’s talk, let’s not. My ego, a protective device of immense power, was well entrenched. There would be no wisdom herself could impart to me. It was perfectly obvious to me and damn it…most everyone, that any enlightenment to be shared between us would, in most cases emanate from me! Yeah well, I have never been known for my humility … well, not up to the present time anyway! And then… we reached our watershed. I was convinced that I had entered a hostile territory, a place from which there would be no return. I entered gladly, in the hope of an answer to our endless entwinement. I had not reckoned on unconditional love, on grace and forgiveness, on the sweet, pure energy of herself. The witch ??? Are you referring to the witch??? I am… we are never only one state, we are an energy flow through life, tumbling, changing, giving and taking. And whilst I write ‘my truth’ about herself and our relationship… it is exactly that… mine. Seen through my eyes and experienced through my ego. The biblical admonition to “judge not” a haunting call … stop, think, learn to be more than your ego. As a result of herself stepping up to the plate, spitting on her palms and whacking the infidelity ball right out of the park… Hell man, what more is there to say . I love the woman, I always have. Because of distance and matters of pride and ego, our entanglement, the mire of our emotions was always going to be… uh… messy? There must be a way, only an idiot would allow such a love prize to dissipate, decline, dissolve …en so voorts… And so, I come to be sitting in her/our home, air conditioner blasting away, herself next to me, studying up on the psychological aspects of pediatric hiv, whilst I dip into the previously underestimated writings of tolle. Of course my ego adores his ‘rightness’, he and I seem to have traversed somewhat divergent paths to reach similar conclusions. Fortunately for myself and many others, tolle expended the energy to actually write his insights down, some smart publisher decided to take said insights to print. Result … a record, a reminder of the way things might possibly be. I have not finished the book; I am only on page 109, about a third of the way through. I sojourned to the courtyard in order to indulge my nicotine habit. The courtyard is a somewhat magical space, surrounded by tall, very tall oak trees, casting shadow and light … the silky rustle of nature’s air conditioners. There is a green stillness, a present peace. Long island is baking, hot as hades… the birdsong grows still in the humid heaviness, even the squirrels seem to scamper a little slower. And I begin to wonder… What if? We were to conquer ego! Where would that leave us? Lost in a gentle sameness, spiritual beings in a physical world…. Surely our ego serves an earth designed purpose, it enables us to grab and grow, to fight and strive and impact on the physical world. Were we all to sink into the peace of acceptance, would humanity survive or would we have found our ultimate purpose, to die to the physical, rise above our bodies, our minds and leave the earth to the next generation of seekers? For today, I will sip ice cooled water, read further the suppositions of this man, tolle and enjoy the sheer pleasure of my content at being at her side. For a while, I will watch with wariness for the input of ego and hope to find a little more enlightenment, a little more love for my fellow time travelers, a little more respect for the reality of others.
it's raining on long island, soft and soaking, big drops falling from the tall trees, splashing... damp and cool on my exposed skin. warm, almost steamy... i am not in scotland.
this afternoon herself drove us to the freeport "nautical mile". i was pleasantly surprised. the wooden boardwalk extended out over the swift rising tide. swirls of green swept past, small, living, moving islands, growing worlds of seaweed and vivid green algae slipping silent beneath the bridge. the slap of the current pushing past, intent on somewhere else. careless of our presence. the afternoon still and waiting, a quietness broken with the occassional mournful seabird's call. so we sat... herself and i, watching and waiting. the heron landed with the grace of his species, white wings outspread, wide and beautiful... breaking with the elegance of a skinny, long legged fish hunter. he waded the shallows, searching, scrawny neck outstretched... waiting... to do that which a heron is born to do. quick as a flash... scoop and swallow, watch that small fish, moving down his throat, heron swallow style.
the man stopped... "this is not good" he muttered, "tides rising too fast". well yeah... how fast should the tide rise anyway? he had wisdom to share and we were the lucky participants, the available and therefore chosen audience to attend his discourse. tides rising, weather changing, fisherman's tales, local knowledge shared with strangers. shark catching competitions. sharks?? hey man! "yeah... 21, 23 miles that-a-way plenty shark's. catch 'em, bring 'em in, weigh them. dollar prizes, a thousand, maybe more." time for me to spin tales of wild coast sharks, hammer heads running, reels screaming, sharks threshing, sharks harpooned and blood running on the rocks. memories of long ago... sun beating, hot on white sands, shark teeth necklaces. crayfish suppers and sunsets, young bodies, burned brown, hot passion and cool water.
the fisherman left for a drink... well... maybe another drink! herself and i wandered wide eyed back to the car, renewed, refreshed... paradise in the midst of strip malls.
"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" Mary Oliver
“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” ~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
"There are too many people, and too few human beings." Robert Zend
"Strength is the ability to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands, and then eat just one of those pieces."