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in the small boat

As Wayson said yesterday, “Boring is good. You need a bit more boring.” Indeed. Thinking back, I see other times – after Dad’s death, or particularly after the separation from my husband – that felt like navigating a tattered sailboat in a heaving ocean. This time, my state is not as dramatic, but still, I feel overwhelmed. Yesterday I stumbled on the sidewalk, twisted my ankle sharply, nearly cried. Later tried to fill the bird feeder but the seed bag was too heavy, it dropped, the seed spilled and I gashed my finger – nearly cried. There are several big concerns about work, and also my own physical self, have had two doctor’s appointments this week. There’s a fuss about renovations the attached neighbour is doing, and the on-going sense of missing my own home, running up and downstairs trying to figure out where things are. Everything feels a bit too much – one too many little things at a fraught time.

But what’s important – my mother is much better, back in the recovery ward, and we even talked briefly yesterday. She’s upset because now they want to put in a pacemaker, which means another operation, however simple. I didn’t know what to say except, “Listen to Dr. Labinaz.” Whom we love.

Last night, old friend Margaret came to visit; we sat on the deck in the spring sun, sniffing lilac, reliving old times – we were pregnant with our first babies together in 1981. My baby came two days early, on May 3rd, yesterday’s date; Margaret’s baby William arrived on Canada Day. I texted Anna 31st birthday wishes, and she wrote back, “Even tho it’s my bday, you did all the work, so you deserve most of the credit. Thanks mummy!”

At 9 months pregnant, she understands that particular kind of work. Thanks, girlie.

Wayson and I went to Judy’s meditation session yesterday morning. I’m the youngest person there, an unusual experience. We spend about half an hour in a deep meditative state, led there by Judy who coaches us through; then, after we emerge, we discuss what happened. It’s wonderful to be surrounded by my elders and wisers, to hear their stories, and to descend to that deep, calm, fascinating state myself. Very rich. Afterwards, I accompanied Wayson to Merryberry’s, a bright, pretty café on Parliament Street, to get caught up with my beloved friend and mentor, who as usual calmed me down. “Just relax,” he said. “None of this – your mother, your daughter – is up to you. You’re just asked to be ready to respond.” And respond I will. Relax? Working on it.

There were babies at the café, and I was mesmerized – creatures from another planet with giant heads and wide, guileless moonfaces. It was hard to restrain myself from going over to pick them up. Impending grandmotherhood hits.

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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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