How Do You Say Goodbye?

The other day I was again off just before dawn, with my lights blinking and tires crunching on the frosty pathways, as I made my way to work.

crack of dawn

tundra swansBut spring is on it’s way, as Penny and I again saw the Tundra Swans migrating overhead in a loose V.

And I’m sorry I haven’t written, I could say I’ve been busy, but that would be a lie. I think it was this desire to just simply explore what I wanted to create, after being Freshly Pressed. Like wow, and oh my gosh, and seriously, writing letters to your dead Mom is kinda weird, you have to admit. But nothing new in me not keeping in touch, so shouldn’t come as a surprise, neither death nor otherwise can prevent me from being the “away” daughter. The fey one.

So, your centennial baby is turning 50 this year, and that job I cycle towards, hauling boxes, walking back and forth over those concrete floors, up ladders, and loving every minute this last two years. And there is nothing in the world like the feeling of jumping onto a bike at the end of a long day of physical work and flying back to my little bachelor pad. Maybe I was lost, but now I am free.

We all make hard choices. Right or wrong, they are what they are.

And today my hands no longer shake at the thought of seeing him, you know, ol’.rodge.the.dodger I guess no more.

And that is new.

Living back in this city I had no idea I would miss so much, I no longer fear the thought that I could meet him, speak to him, and know that I can walk away and not fall apart.

The muscles in my legs now, you know, are stronger.

I discovered recently that I have more gray hairs in my bangs when I part it the other way, so I decided to part it the other way, to show them off.

I love each one of those damn hairs and I’m glad I stopped dyeing it. Waste of money. Today I can again see the dark brown of my real colour. A dark brown I could never find in a bottle, regardless of how much I spent. In time it will just be a memory, so I’m enjoying it now before it’s totally gone. And I notice my eyes seem bluer, my face happier, and still every now and again I think “50”, I am going to be “50”!

rose against the wallI find I have become a cyclist, with plans for long rides outside of town, cruising down gravel roads to capture some of those places I want to explore. Of picnic lunches in hidden woods, is not so far away anymore.

I think back sometimes to that day I woke up and decided to quit my job. That day I got up, made coffee, and took the bus the 45 minutes, and walked down the 2 blocks, walked into that call centre and asked to speak to someone from HR, with barely enough in the bank to last the month, I just let go.

On that day I threw caution to the wind and here I am at what came next.

Yet that day, regardless of what came next, or what anyone would say, or think. Regardless of whether it was wrong or right. Regardless of how I was going to get by, I just did it, I let go.

And it all worked out, and Lex helped, and I didn’t have to go on welfare, and I found a much better job, and you know the rest. It was almost the scariest thing I have ever done, but inside me that morning something whispered… “it is time”… and I knew I wanted more. No, I needed more.

Sometimes we get enough time, and sometimes we don’t, and that’s just the way it is and to not waste it with those who are not worthy of my time, or my patience.

And there is a certain strange pleasure to stand in front of your new bosses boss, with sweat dripping down your face from another hot flash, with no shame, secure in the knowledge she sees. And no madness. Just my five foot two, and eyes a blue, at 115 or so pounds helping some burly guy get those heavy boxes in his pickup truck that one dark, cold winter night last year, well, it would have brought tears of pride to your country girl eyes.

And I’ve learned that there is no greater thing than cycling through the quiet streets, wind in my hair, gear 1,2,3,4 gear 3,2,1, up and down, left and right, and I make the hill on my way to work at dawn, with just a crested moon and the remaining stars overhead.

Each one of those gray hairs and lines on my face has become like a stripe on my shoulder, I guess. Each mark a battle fought, won, lost, or otherwise. One year more, one year less, and each one you learn, maybe, hopefully, is a blessing, good or bad.

the  bike pathSo, yesterday I took Rose out of her winter hibernation, dusted her off, fixed the chain that had come off at some point, and took her out for a spin, it is like a moving meditation.

Rest in peace.

Love,

PaulaB

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