This week I’ve been appreciating life a bit like a wine taster with a decent glass of red wine in his hand from an ordinary winegrower: it’s been a week when I’ve had a chance to consider the extraordinary in the ordinary, and recognise what a wonderful season of life I’m in – like the stunning season of autumn that we’re all enjoying right now.
And what an incredible few days of autumn weather we’ve had this week! I’ve been totally bowled over the glory of the sunshine on the yellow and red leaves, sunshine that seems like liquid gold, pouring beauty onto everything it touches. It was almost as if we got a taste of what heaven might actually look like.
Wednesday was the most stunning. Sadly, I wasn’t out much, but when I did step out the door, I felt enchanted. The sun’s Midas touch took my breath away, made me feel alive in a way that simply isn’t possible on even a hot summers day. I wanted to rush into every school and fling open the doors to let the children enjoy what seemed a crime to miss out on. By the afternoon, the trees, houses and even roads looked like they were coated in burnished bronze. (Sadly I had no camera on me, so you’ll have to imagine it…)
Thursday was the day I’d decided to go to a vast and soulless shopping outlet centre to buy some jeans. With weather like this going on, I thought, I need to cycle there, not get in a metal box and zip past all this nature candy. And besides I can get a serious workout whilst doing it, which i really need.
Of course, when i woke up the next day it was thick fog, but I wasn’t going to be deflected! And I wasn’t disappointed.
Cycling there took about 35 mins and most of it along the leafy Alban Way (a disused railway line converted to a cycle route) which was a treat. Yes, i passed the back end of business parks and smelly recycling centres, and a bulldozer scraping up the charred remains of a big fire that had hit a fruit & veg nursery last Sunday. But most of the way I was pedalling through a yellow and green arboreal tunnel, and over a carpet of crispy brown stuff.
I glimpsed rich brown ploughed fields covered in what looked like icing sugar. On closer inspection, it was a mesmerizing network of cobwebs. Extraordinary ordinary. Amazing how nature can look so like dusted chocolate fudge cake….. Amazing how everything looks like food to me when hungry….
I was treated to striking red berries on a denuded bush. Barenaked ladies clad only in red jewels.
I felt incredibly fortunate to be able to do this, on an ordinary Thursday. This is the season I’d longed for when my children were at home all day and needing constant, round the clock attention: when ‘wind the bobbin’ up was the musical highlight of the day and sitting down for more than 10 minutes a total luxury.
Now, I can go for a bike ride without worrying if my husband is going up the wall with the multi-taskingness of the whole parenting under 3s thing. I can grab a coffee after pilates, browse, yes, actually browse in a charity shop and even contemplate setting foot in TK Maxx (that shop has the effect on my time and energy like a hoover). I can even ‘pop’ into a shop – that seemingly innocent phrase so readily bandied about by shop staff that makes a mother of children under 3 go red with irritation. “I’m sorry, but I don’t pop anywhere”, I’d calmly explain to the poor person who had uttered the wretched phrase on the phone, thinking they were being helpful. “I have two children under 3. Do you have any idea how long it takes to just set foot outside the house?” I was more likely to explode than pop.
Now I can do those things I’ve always wanted. Like writing a blog, reading a paper, meeting a friend for the odd lunch. Making meals for friends going through a tough time, working with the school PSA, leading kids groups in kids church.
Now is the time.
I’m extremely lucky as I don’t have to work, and although I don’t want to stay in that place for too much longer (the responsibility, challenge and sociability of work I miss) I don’t have the pressure to spin another set of plates outside home, at least for the time being.
I’m linking this post up to Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart.