Spring Brake- Arrêt

Honk, honk! – The unmistakable sound of the returning geese. At first I see but a few; but as the day progresses more and more are spotted in formations that grow larger. There is no guarantee that we will not have another 10 cm of snow, but somehow, throwing caution to the wind, I say “who cares?”

Les oies m’ont souhaité bonjour hier. Qu’on aille d’autre neige, elle ne va pas durer. Je m’en fou! Parfois j’ai le goût de me lever les pattes  avec tout ce qui demande mon attention.

As I was saying: Who cares? Let me abandon myself to the notion of being carefree. Bear with me; this is not an easy process. I usually, dutifully, respond to a multitude of responsibilities crowding around me, vying for attention. That constant nudging does wear one down. While I began by alluding to fowl, I am no duck who lets things run down my back…rather Sisyphus is constantly rolling issues back up to my consciousness. How does one become effective at thought control, at raising the shield and even menacing with a foil?

Let’s take another tack. I opted to give in, give up, get lost, and disappear for 24 hours Sunday. It is perhaps not elegant to the intellectual or the self-regulating guru, but surprisingly effective. Imagine 24 hours with no destination in mind, just roaming or driving. That is when I saw the geese, the downy woodpeckers, and a white winged eagle. I saw last year’s stalks pushing up through the thin layer of late snow and I saw river after river with slushy ice and the patches of open water. What a privilege retirement can afford to run away from it all!

Je me suis lancée en auto sans plan fixe dimanche et je me suis payée une mini-vacance de 24 heures. Ce n’est pas très élégant comme façon de se maîtriser, mais efficace quand même. Ça m’a permis de voir le début du retour des oies, de voir un aigle, de voir la glace commencer à caler sur les rivières. Comme ces heures de liberté m’ont été bénéfique!

I poked around in shops and art boutiques; I chowed down in places I had never seen before; I forgot about those anxieties constantly eating away at me (at least part of the time) I could have even seen the comet had the skies cleared. It was time well spent. The furtiveness of the break gave it an aspect of intrigue, with a rush of new adrenalin.

Je me suis promenée dans une petite boutique remplie de moutardes maison et plein d’autres choses. J’ai fouillé dans des studios de vitraux et d’art. J’aurais été bien placée pour voir la comète, mais il y avait trop de nuages. Et à mon retour, mes épaules sont baissées et je me sens bien. J’ai même réussi à rendre des Iris en aquarelles (4ème essai!) Quel bénéfice de ma mise au point du printemps, rempli de nouveaux paysages, personnes variées et la grande route.

So I guess it was like a car’s tune-up, a change of oil and filter, changing tires and checking the brakes. New scenery, a change of pace and no need to be checking myself … a brake-free Spring tune-up for me!


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