30 March 2007

Lost words and found turtles

I'm not going to dwell on the fact that I just spent over an hour writing a post, inspired by my hectic and slightly insane recent travel schedule, about ground stops and snowstorms and airports and hotels and thinking of the beauty expressed by Ezra Pound's In the Station of the Metro and the gloom of riding the PATH into the WTC station on a cold, dark rainy night. Although still in draft, I thought it was very good. But IE just bombed on me and I lost it all before I could hit 'SAVE'. But I won't regret it's loss; I had fun writing it and maybe I'll recreate it soon. Maybe it will even be better than the first attempt.

It's Spring here and I've been shut indoors for too long. It's glorious listening to the birds chirp, to see the wildflowers starting to bloom, to be able to arrive home from work in the evening while there is still time for a walk or a bike ride before or after dinner.

I rode about 5 miles this evening. The air smelled new. Some children were trying to pick up a large old turtle from the trail and put him back near the water. Two laughed with joy, one screamed in terror. The poor turtle just stayed in his shell, maybe glad to have been rescued from the edge of the road, but still uncertain if the kids were an okay trade-off. The water has receded from the flood of a few days ago. And suddenly most of the trees have small leaves just starting to unfurl. Being able to enjoy this Spring weather is fun!

I used to have an acquaintance, a very wise and humorous man, who would frequently ask me what I had done recently for fun. I would sometimes avoid him because I wouldn't have an answer. It took me awhile to realize that he wasn't trying to put me on the spot, but rather was making a subtle point that I should be doing something for me, something that was fun, joyous, a means of recreation. He was wise -- and I was a bit more foolish than I am now.

I've been thinking about that a lot recently, about how important it is to laugh and enjoy rather than to gripe about little things that don't make a difference in the long term. Like having fun when you're snowed in somewhere although you'd rather be home despite being in one of the greatest cities in the world. Like enjoying a late afternoon bike ride in early Spring. Wanting to tell the children to leave a turtle alone, yet remembering the thrill of finding turtles near creeks when you were a child and remembering how reclusive and mysterious they were.

What about you? What have you done for fun lately? I hope you've found a few minutes to be joyous, to be grateful, to enjoy a few minutes of early Spring sunshine, even if it's raining (or even if it's early Fall where you are located).


jenclair said...

Suppose I'll be thinking about this all day. I do things I enjoy almost everyday, but somehow the idea of fun seems to involve something more, something a bit outside the daily routine.

It could be as simple as taking a different route on your walk or seeing something unexpected. It could be planning a day trip to a nursery, book store, to visit a friend. As you imply, attitude has so much to do with it.

I like the idea of asking others (and yourself) what you did "for fun" lately because it makes you consider what you think of as fun, how often it occurs, how easy it would be to try to include more. Thanks, Cam, for such a thoughtful post.

chiefbiscuit said...

I love the energy in this post - must be the spring! I bet you are looking forward to enjoying the lighter evenings just as we are experiencing the joys of autumn. (So far it has shown its mild side and is a delight.) But I can't help but cringe a little at the expected winter.
Enjoy your spring and the thought of impending summer.
For fun I like to read blogs and I watched America's Next Top Model ... I don't know how that rates. Oh yes and I also took a dog for a walk - at least that was healthy fun.

Courtney said...

What a great post. I agree -there is wonderful energy here.
For fun? Well, today Sam and I are going out of town for the weekend to hear great music and eat wonderful food and just spend time together...I think it's going to be pretty great.

Dorothy W. said...

I took a walk this morning when I needed to be doing work, and I'm going on a hike tomorrow when I should be doing work -- how's that? Thanks for the reminder of how important this is!

Camille said...

Absolutely food for thought. Especially with a newborn in the house plus a toddler and everything feeling like it's falling down around you. Yet these are amazing moments that most certainly will not last forever, never mind a few months. Taking time and appreciating what's fun and good is essential. Thanks!

(un)relaxeddad said...

Fun is something I have a complex relationship with. Recently, fun seems to be related to food and indulgence, like lunch at Toku in the Japan Centre near Picadilly. But that doesn't really seem to meet the purity of the fun I think you'e hinting at - too pre-meditated, too much changing of cash involved.

OK - I've got it. Encountering, six hours ago, The Best Eccles Cake in the World Ever.