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the presence of still water

My customary January insomnia has begun, but I’m combating it today, as I write, by sitting in the hot sunlight pouring through my bedroom windows. It’s a gorgeous day, 8 degrees, as it was yesterday, when I saw a young man walking along in shorts and a hoodie. In January. In Toronto.

Still, January is tough, with months of dark winter to go, and for some reason, my mind decides this is the time to lie awake and worry. Something else to combat it – yoga, later today at the Y, and a meditation session with Judy later in the week. Let it go, let it go.
It was a wonderful week, both home classes up and running, the new one and the old one, always a joy. Ryerson starts Monday and U of T soon. A visit from my daughter, whose belly is growing big and hard; she can eat now without problem and does so joyfully, as is her wont. And a visit right now from my son, whose belly is always empty, as evidenced by the rapidly emptying fridge.
I’m preparing for my March trip – yesterday, booked the Eurostar from London to Paris after Easter, and spent time on-line looking at bed and breakfasts in Lyon, where I’m spending two nights in March visiting a young friend who will just have had twin boys. I didn’t book anything, and last night, at Monique’s usual Francophone soiree, I found out that her boarder Alexandra is from Lyon. If it’s okay with her fiancé, she’s going to give me the key to their downtown flat. Talk about harmonic convergence – I’ve met Alexandra a number of times, but the first time the name of her home town came up was the very day that I started looking for a place to stay there. Sometimes things just fall into place.
And my beloved Patsy just sent me a poem, just the right poem at the right time, from Gabriola Island, so I share it with you. After absorbing it, I’ve decided not to go to yoga but for a walk in the sunshine instead. I don’t know how many wood drakes I can find downtown, but I’ll do my best.

When despair for the world grows in me

and I wake in the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,

I go and lie down where the wood drake

rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought

of grief. I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars

waiting with their light. For a time

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Wendell Berry

P.S. Biked to the St. Lawrence Market instead of a walk, so no wood drakes, but some meat from a small farm for a stew. It’s colder than it looks out there, so I’m heading to yoga anyway. May you all have a marvellous Saturday, not forgetting that above you are the day-blind stars, waiting.



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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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