I’ve been hammering away trying to get this proposal done, and sometimes it seems like it is the most important thing in my life. When that happens, I find I need to take a step away for a moment and look around me. Trouble is, when I get like that, stepping away is not so easy. Thankfully, three things conspired to make me take that step the other night. Barb, Tom and the Gemini Twins.
First, Barb Imrie, full time outdoor education instructor and in her spare time, is the President of the Albion Hills Community Farm. She and her husband Russell went to Hugh’s Room to hear The Good Lovelies the other night. I was slaving away at my computer and I received an e mail from her as they were waiting for the Lovelies to perform. I was SO JEALOUS!!!
Then she proceeded to tell me that Tom Power was the announcer for the evening. Tom hosts the Morning Show in CBC Radio 1, meaning he’s up early to help the rest of us every morning. Plus, he’s the lead guitar player for the Dardenelles, a trad band from Newfoundland (that I just went to hear at Hugh’s Room a few weeks ago).
Because she was at the concert, Barb wasn’t going to get home till late, and she still had to teach the next day. Because he was at the concert, Tom wasn’t going to get home till late, and he still had to be on the air the next day. Me, I was feeling sorry for myself for working so hard and not taking time to do anything other than sit at my desk and feel consumed by paperwork and writing. Unlike either of them, I wasn’t doing anything to remember that there is life outside of work.
And then my alarm went off. 11:30 pm…I had set it to make myself go outside and watch the Geminid Meteor Showers. I hesitated – it was cold out there – but I donned my big parka, dragged my son outside with me and went out to lie on the roof of my car to look up. Rory and I ended up talking about religion, about the vastness of space, and as we watched the shooting stars dance and fall throughout the sky, we marvelled at how enormous the world is and argued about how insignificant we were.
I lay looking up at the stars for a long time, well after Rory went inside. I did, because I needed to remember that work, proposals and paperwork have their place in my life, and I do love what I do. But the spell-binding magic of a meteor shower trumps it all, if only for the moment that you watch that star accelerate, burst and fall.
Work hard. But like Barb and Tom, play hard too. And don’t forget to watch for the magic. For me, it was hearing Barb’s joy at the concert, talking to my son, and watching the stars. It is all around us, we just have to take that moment and look for it.