Last night my husband, Brian, helped me put the clean sheets onto our behemoth of a bed. After one month of not being properly made, he helped me configure my TWO down comforters and ONE cotton blanket into their rightful position (as opposed to the mountain style they were resembling this last month of summer), and we arranged our six pillows according to our liking. My face was then washed and my teeth were brushed. My son was taken care of and my daughter was still occupied in her nighttime French class. My jammies were on and my blanket arranged on the couch, ready for my descent into its strawberry print lushness (a leftover from my teenage years–the coziest of blankies, especially with the warmth of the, still lingering, summer air). After all had been arranged and accounted for, I sat back on the bedecked couch and let out a big sigh.
I had made it through another day. It was dark outside. Not on the brink of evening, but completely dark. The night had come and I had made it through a full day of parenting, secretarial-ing, taxi-ing, cleaning, dog walking, spider killing, cooking, counseling, and dealing with the effects of a stiff neck. I felt I had deserved the long sigh and the right to exhaustion, especially as it was late at night and I had been fighting the yearning for a nap since 2 in the afternoon. Whew. I then opened my laptop computer, and as the screen came into view so did the clock. It read loud and clear, “8:30p.m.”
“It’s only 8:30 PM!,” I exclaimed. How is that even possible? It must be wrong. It has to be closer to midnight!! And then it hit me…I am exhausted as if it were midnight, yet it hadn’t even hit the elementary-aged bed time hour. Sad, sad, sad. And so I quickly opened my “Bentrivka” portal to document my title, “It’s Only 8:30!” and then logged out because just the effort it took to even conceive that my exclamation would provide a reasonably good title for a post was the last ounce of energy within my tired mind and body. And with that, at 8:35p.m., I sat back and allowed the mind numbing effects of television (as provided through Netflix.com) to release me from my connections to reality. Thank you “Hot in Cleveland”, thank you!
In my last post titled “Living With No”, I hinted at having more to my bicycling adventure. This is true. But first I will introduce you to my bike. She is a British Raleigh circa 1970’s. Actually, early 1970’s, and she is a folding bike. I have seen similar photos, online, but they indicate that my lady is a Raleigh Twenty, yet my girl doesn’t bear the “Twenty” verbiage that the others seem to possess. So who knows what she really is! What I do know is we enjoy a few jaunts about town periodically. This is a pastime I typically enjoy. However, with exhaustion (emotional or physical), it is difficult to pursue even that which brings forth joy and happiness. But I am gaining ground in this area. As mentioned by me previously, one mili-step at a time! Or in this case mili-pedal.
I actually have a dream of living in an area where I would not require a vehicle at all. All of my destinations could be reached by walking or riding my bike. I do not currently inhabit my dream town, but I do utilize this fantasy to my benefit when the time frame allows. Such as the other day. I had errands to run (the bank, the other bank, and the new to our town used furniture store). If time permits, I take the back roads and travel under the freeway where the atmosphere is serene and the route runs through a historical neighborhood. I then have to pass by the Mission. Yes, one of father Junipero Serra’s Spanish feats and the central beacon of our city. Several years back the Mission became a Basilica and adopted the “open door” policy (this is actually the new Mission church, not the adjacent historical-must pay to enter-attraction). With the new policy in place, the doors are unlocked and the grand, yet very peaceful, church provides sanctuary from the bustling of the outside world. Though I am not Catholic, I have spent many hours within the non-protestant walls. I have appreciated the simplicity of the hand paintings and the majesty of the arched, vaulted ceilings. More recently, for reasons I cannot fathom, a golden alter was installed. I suppose its gaudy position and magnitude against the simple wall paintings is a reflection of the truth from its past. Echos of the ruling empire dominating the natives with the two coexisting as one.
I do not like the alter as it is difficult to ignore. And when I take the time to visit the Mission church I like to pretend it is a peaceful place, built with peaceful intentions, and present because it welcomes all kinds of people. I like to ignore the truth history provides regarding the slavery of the indigenous people, and I battle the teachings I have had through my own education and from that of my children, as I approach the open door to the quiet structure. The golden altar, in a sense, screams “Remember the truth!” And though I do manage to find my inner quite, it now takes a bit longer for me to get there.
So my Raleigh is my accomplice in quiet adventure. She takes me places with speed and she doesn’t say a word. While on her seat I imagine I am riding through the streets of London, and the country sides of Europe. I pretend I am free. And while I am free, I am being replenished. Which is why it is ironic that when exhaustion hits, I fight her call.
Well it is currently 5:00p.m. in the evening. Brian is home, Esther is on her way to another nighttime class, and Cole is holed up “saving a world” in some extra-terrestrial video game. I do believe I have a window of opportunity for a ride. Cheerio…