He was bumping over the grass, in an electric wheelchair. And he scooted up to us [with perfect timing: my Littlest One was having a breakdown, of epic proportions].
Hi! [he sang]
Hi! [I replied, slathering him with virtual kisses, as he disappeared the tantrum].
We got talking [as his puppy and my toddler got chatting too]. About 18 months ago he was told to finalise his affairs, to tell his family that he loved them. To Prepare. And so he took to his bed for a couple of months. But then woke up one morning and decided to buy some wheels. And a boat.
I dont know if you ever read the Little Golden Books [he asked, almost conspiratorially].
Yes! [I said] I loved them.
Well, my boat looks like Scuffy, the tug boat [he explained].
He said he has been riding around and sailing and being happy. And ever since, his health has stayed steady.
I’m still here! [he smiled].
And I smiled too.
Over the last couple of years I have realised something that has completely transformed my experience.
This messy stuff? The uncomfortable stuff that I used to wish would go away? This is the good stuff.
While I knew it intellectually before, I had never really lived it. But now I do. Mostly. [I still resist. Especially when I’m feeling tired. Or hungry.]
But mostly I do and I’m able to lean into that murky, annoying, frustrating uncomfortable mess and come out drenched in joy.
It is the greatest gift.
You’re driving and the sun’s shining and your favourite.at.the.moment song comes on the radio and your little.people are eating bread rolls and giggling and it just feels so good. You never realised that you would get this lucky. And you have. And it’s amazing.
Tonight, I am roasting a whole chicken. And when I say roasting, I mean roasting. Actually roasting it. As in: not buying it from the roast.chook.section of the supermarket. And serving it with carrots. That I grew in my garden.
I am not even joking.
I know that for some folk, this type of I.grew.it.in.the.ground meal is a common occurrence. Normal, you know? For me, it is not.
I reckon it’s important, when you do something that you think is brilliant, to you give yourself massive kudos. Not in a vomity kind of way. Just in an I.did.preeeeetty.good sort of fashion.
So, my friends. Tonight [note: before dinner is tasted], I am patting myself on the back – big time.