This has been quite a remarkable day. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it and mostly I’ve been able to be pretty mindful about everything I’ve done today. Let me share this “other kind of day” with you.
I woke up rested around 6:30 this morning. There were glints of sunshine coming through the blinds which was a welcome change for sure. Over the years I’ve hung a number of things in front of my window to the world (from bed at least); mostly they are angels or fairies that have been given to me as most cherished gifts. There’s also a stained glass hanging of a Chagall that David and I received as a wedding gift (it’s especially beautiful at sunset), alongside a Dream Catcher I made one magical weekend at Herring Island (thank you Barb for that and so many wonderful moments of delight). Once I’d had my latte and toast, watched an episode of Oz, watched the news and read the paper, and finalized my plan for cooking for David’s birthday party (13 people for a Friday night dinner celebration), I bundled up and headed out to the subway.
If you’ve ever been in Toronto you likely know that our subway is a pretty efficient way to get around town. It’s about a 12 minute walk (briskly) from my front door to the subway station. 10 minutes later I was standing on the corner of Bloor and Yonge; a major intersection in Toronto. I walked down Yonge Street about 10 blocks to a costume shop; I needed to buy some things for Purim costumes. This Jewish holiday – the one that catapults me right into Passover Fever – is next Monday night, and I’m going to be in Ottawa with the little ones; we decided we’d go as a Purim Posse dressed in cowboy/girl gear. I left the shop with cowboy/girl hats (the boys get black or brown, the girls purple or pink) and 5 Sheriff’s badges. I couldn’t help but laugh to myself; yup – this defines us – 5 of us in badges … all sheriffs no deputies! From there I walked about another 10 blocks to the Y for my aquafit class. It was a most enjoyable class, starting with the fabulous jazzy music that was played. While “cross-country skiing” in the pool, I started thinking about what I might add to our costumes, so after my workout I headed back up Yonge Street to Fabricland where I bought a pattern for making cowboy vests and some brown and cream felt (I’ll sew on squiggly patches of the cream so that it looks like a cow-hide). Back on the subway and I was home by 2:30.
At this point I turned my attention to cooking. I’m making a Borscht Horseradish Terrine as the first course for the party dinner (if you’re gagging right now, I understand; try not to think of it as Borscht-flavoured jello). It’s a bizarre recipe that I found in the February ’09 issue of Gourmet Magazine. It involved preparing layers (5 of them) – a bottom (which will turn into a top when I serve the Terrine) of sour cream and horseradish, then a layer made from vegetable broth simmered with herbs, then a layer with chunks of beets and bits of gherkin pickles, another broth layer, then a final layer of borscht; each layer “gellied”. It was a slow process as each layer need to be made and set for a while before the next could be added.
While the layers were gelling I started playing with the felt, and began sewing cowboy vests.
My day. A little exercise. Some cooking. Some sewing for my grandchildren. Interspersed with phone conversations with my Mother, David and some of my children, and emails with my sister, some friends, and some BFs (blogfriends, a term I’m using to describe some of the terrific people I’ve met through this blog – some in person, others “virtually”. Along the way I’ve managed some writing of course (this posting as well as some editing to website content), some more research on women’s meditation retreats (if you know of any good ones you’d recommend – especially any in either India or Israel – do let me know), given consideration to the many emails I have received in the last day in response to an email I sent out to my previous 2 classes at Ryerson to see what they thought of offering the course they took with me as a compacted “Spring Session” course, and – and this is the key to it all I think – I’ve had time to do this all mindfully and totally.
As I stood at the kitchen counter stirring gelatin into borscht I was aware of the light coming through the window, the slight cramp in my right shoulder, the smell of the beets, the feel of the liquid resisting the movement of the spoon, the air moving in and out of my lungs. As I sit here at the computer I can see the words appearing on the screen as my fingers fly across the keyboard, but at the same time I can see the images that are on my screen and hear the buzzing of the electricity and the sound of the furnace turning on, and feel the gentle to-and-fro movement of the chair I’m sitting on.
This has been an other kind of a day. I’ve nourished myself as me, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a daughter, a sister. I have spent no time at all wondering if it was okay to be doing just what I wanted. It is okay. Isn’t it?