Another re-post during my mini-vacation. I spent last week participating in the Humber School for Writers Summer Workshop. The writers in my group agreed: Writing is a tough slog. But then, so is life in general! I might as well spend some of it writing and occasionally stumbling into moments of bliss.
I’m taking a mini- vacation. I’m re-posting something from nine years ago, because I love it.
Our family was heading to our favourite bakery to pick up cream-filled doughnuts. But . . . our way was blocked by road construction. We had to detour.
We grumbled. The detour stood between us and our doughnuts, and we weren’t happy.
That is, until we read the sign for the upcoming cross street.
My husband said: “Look. It’s Easy Street. I’ve got to turn down there.”
My daughter said: “Awesome! Wouldn’t it be cool to live on Easy Street.”
My son said: “You know, there are never any streets named Difficult Street, or Challenging Street.”
The personalities of my family revealed in a few short sentences.
We turned onto Easy Street, and immediately felt wonderfully, irrationally great.
“Oh yeah, we’re on Easy Street now, baby!”
The whole family was laughing and smiling. The name had amazing power to make our day.
But then . . . . we looked ahead. More construction at the next intersection meant that we could only enjoy our ride on Easy Street for one block. Isn’t that always the way? When you finally make it to Easy Street, it doesn’t last.
From this I learned three things:
Sometimes a detour is more interesting than the planned route.
When you have the chance to turn on to Easy Street, take it.
Once you’re there enjoy the ride, because it might not last long.
We have a lawn at our cottage, but it’s not a flawless stretch of green grass. The rural property at this time of year is dotted with daisies, which we resolutely mow around.
The tradition began with my mother-in-law. She wanted to keep the lawn looking nice and well cared for, but she couldn’t bring herself to mow down a beautiful flower in a natural setting. We honour her when we leave those daisies swaying in the summer breezes.
I’m not sure what our neighbours think of the patchy mowing job. Perhaps they mutter: “I wish those people would do something about that lawn.”
My wish would be that they choose instead to enjoy the beautiful flowers and take a moment to feel grateful for the gift from nature.
I don’t know about you, but during this pandemic I have read more books electronically than ever. Without book stores or libraries, I have turned to e-books for my fix.
I prefer a paper book, but needs-must. The one thing I do like better about an e-book is the built-in dictionary. If I don’t know a word, I touch my finger and, voilà, there is the definition.
Here are some words I have learned in the past few months, used in a sentence:
glabellar: The smooth part of the forehead above and between the eyebrows. (Now that I’m older, my glabellar is not as smooth as this definition implies.)
synesthesia: A neurological condition in which information meant to stimulate one of your senses stimulates several of your senses. (Some people with synesthesia always see the letter A in the colour red, and when I see I word I don’t know in a book, I see red.)
faffing: [UK informal] To spend time doing a lot of things that are not important instead of the one thing you should be doing. (At a cottage it is easy to spend time faffing around instead of writing blog posts.)
hierophant: A person, especially a priest in ancient Greece, who interprets sacred mysteries or esoteric principles. (I need a hierophant to help me understand some things in the books I’m reading.)
tricoteuse: A woman who sits and knits, a reference to women who did this at public executions during the French Revolution. (I would be willing to become a tricoteuse during the trial of a writer who uses the word tricoteuse.)
prelapsarian: Characteristic of the time before the fall of man [Editor’s note: they mean people], that is, innocent and unspoiled. (In the prelapsarian Eden, people used non-gender specific language.)
hoaching: Full of or swarming with people. (During this time of pandemic avoid hoaching places.)
How are you reading these days? What have you learned from that experience?