Tag Archives: Cape Cod
Some spring days try to fake me out into thinking it’s summer. That has happened recently. The sun shines brightly on the deck, the chairs look warmed and cozy, and there’s an ever so gentle breeze that bends the trees. It looks like it’s perfect for an afternoon with a book and a lemonade.
However, once out there, my feet are cold, I need a sweater, and I’m saying “Screw the lemonade, I need some hot black coffee.” So having donned woolen socks and sweater, grabbed a cup of steaming java, I persist in moving the chair around the deck to catch the most direct rays of the sun. Yes, I know, I’m pushing it. Jumping the shark or something like that. But I do long to bask in the sun with a good book… it will happen, just with layers for awhile.
Today a walk to the beach was truly an aerobic exercise in staying vertical against the wind. It was “refreshing”— ok- it was nippy, and I walked fast because if I stood still, I’d complain more. At WoodNeck, the windsurfers were out in full glory. Sails, black suits, full beards and huge smiles. One energized 60+ year old said the water was 50 degrees and the air was 50 degrees, so that makes it 100. I bitched about nothing after that.
It’s true that the daffodils have bloomed and the azaleas and forsythia are full color. Periwinkle and all types of short wild flowers have started to open. Spring is really happening, just a little late and a little slower than usual.
I’ve also noticed that I’ve got a couple of “anniversaries” that are happening right about this time. I’m marking the beginning of my fourth year of retirement from teaching at Bentley University. This is the first year that I was completely unaware of semesters, final exams and last day of classes. I’m having a blast doing exactly what I want, when I want to. The freedom is exhilarating and my list of “want to do’s” grows each day—in a good way. I’ve had the opportunity to read from my stacks of collected books as well as raid the library for some unexpected delights. I love the lack of curriculum and the full range of opportunities.
On a similar note, I’m celebrating my second blogiversary of http://www.yarnsista.com. Two years of writing generated 99 posts, almost 6000 views and a tremendous amount of fun and satisfaction for me. It’s a place where I can write about my passions: the Cape, my life, my books, my fun with fiber and anything else that captures my attention. Taking photographs has been a new skill to work on. The iPhone camera is a blessing. It makes learning by trial and error plus lots of practice very attainable.
I also just celebrated my first year of doing yoga. Now that is a very big deal. With the help of many compassionate, wise teachers, I have begun my practice and continue to expand it. My back no longer hurts me; I can move without aches and pain; I’ve lost weight and am much healthier than ever. All of this is exceptionally good news because I’m about half way to 122 years old, and I’d like to be flexible and balanced right up to the last breath. Three yoga classes and one Pilates class per week should help me get there.
So all of this spring/rebirth/new growth stuff is working. I have no complaints and am looking forward to it all. Life is good.
This morning we got up early and took a walk to the beach. There never has to be a “purpose” for such a walk, but listening to the early morning bird songs was our hope. I have no idea what types of birds were singing, tweeting and/or squawking, but I took them all in.
I’ll never learn their genus,species, or be able to identify individual birds, and I don’t care. I’m not much into labels, but I love the bird music!
There’s something about the sounds birds make in the Spring that sets the pace for all the other changes that evolve. I remember some of the sounds, others seem new; maybe my ears hear things differently. It is like a breath of fresh air that pushes winter aside and ushers in green sprouts.
It was just a pleasant, gentle walk down the beach. I collected shells and collected my thoughts.
On any given Monday and Thursday at 10:15 AM you’ll find me on a mat, soaked in sweat, head to toe in a room that’s at least 90 degrees. Every muscle in this 61 year old body has been worked hard, and I couldn’t be more pleased. I am a yoga mama—who would have thought????
Six months ago I had my annual physical and asked my doctor what I had to do to get rid of chronic back pain and lots of little aches that seemed to be occurring too frequently.
With a straight face, he asked me if I had tried yoga. I laughed out loud—do I look like I can do yoga? I can’t sit still and am unable to tie myself into a pretzel. He has been my doctor for more than twenty years and knows me well. He said to try it—it’s good for a lot of “stuff” but make sure you find a teacher you like.
I left his office thinking he was crazy. Later that week, I told my knitting group about his advice. To my surprise, many knitters (all shapes, sizes, and ages) around the room did practice yoga and had recommendations. I began to rethink this yoga idea; my back ached while I was cogitating.
A week later I arranged for a few private lessons with the most highly recommended teacher, Kirsten. Learning some of the basics at home where I could fall over, get stuck and be completely confused was a smart move. Kirsten was compassionate AND smart. She knew her yoga and successfully convinced me that I could do it. After the first session, my back felt better, but more importantly I realized that I could actually do this and like it.
Yoga brought new words and new perspectives into focus: breath, paying attention to my body, alignment, gaze, flow, eliminating distractions. All had relevance both on and off the mat. Every class I’m able to do something that I was unable to do the previous class. There are times when I see my shadow on the studio floor and, in amazement say “That’s me!” I don’t mean that in an egotistical way—but it really is quite a surprise for me to see myself flowing from one pose to another while breathing and working hard.
When Kirsten had an accident and took a leave of absence, I jumped right into the next class with a new teacher, Megan. Yes, I was a little nervous. The new class was more rigorous, and it was a heated classroom. Would I like her? Would it be too hard? Would I cry? The answer is all good news. Megan pushes me beyond my comfort zone in a similar way that I pushed my students to write and think critically beyond their usual limits.
No, I’m not doing handstands yet, but every class I make progress and continue to work on my daily practice, incorporating the new poses learned in class. Making the quiet time to do this for myself has been a real gift. I do owe a great deal of thanks, not only to Dr. Tracy who first put the bug in my ear, but also to both Kirsten and Megan… and also to my daughters who both practice yoga and offered encouragement and strength through this whole process.
I like what yoga does for me. It’s centering, quieting, and peaceful. It also strengthens what needs to be stronger and relaxes what is tied in knots. So it is with great joy that I include yoga in my life and can’t imagine living without it.
My exploring has taken hold. I’m trying to notice what was previously missed. Woods Hole is the perfect place to do this. We’ve been in this community for more than 25 years, and there’s always something going on to stir my brains. This walk was no exception.
This trek started with the goal of capturing the last three skeins of yarn spun from very happy sheep off the coast of Woods Hole. Only a total of 19 were available at the Woods Hole Historical Society Shop in the spring. This was a quest for the perfect yarn to make my daughter Molly’s shawl for Christmas. The sheep are certifiably happy and treated with respect; the yarn is a delicious cocoa color and should have great stitch definition. This stop was only the beginning.
Had to stop at Pie In The Sky and pretend that the rum-raisin bread pudding is a healthy snack. Needless to say, there’s always a new baked goodie that calls to me from this place. I remember when Molly would buy an entire fruit pie and devour it herself with fork and spoon in hand. Kate picked up the bike path at the boat dock behind the store and roller bladed home after Science School. This truly is a little hole in the wall place that never disappoints.
Out of this window the boat waits to go to the Vineyard, people scramble to find parking spaces and this area has a pulse all of its own.
There’s a line of small rose bushes that border the parking lot and always seem to be in bloom. Their blossoms are small and fragile. I’m not one to remember plant names, but they remind me of the floribunda roses my Dad used to love. Easy to grow and always a treat to look at.
Woods Hole is returning to its post-tourist pace. Amen! The scientists, artists and fisherman have the place to themselves.
We managed to get through the guarded gate at Penzance Point and continue our walk almost out to the point. These estates are manicured, pedicured and well-groomed. Yet, that fussy stuff doesn’t impress me. It’s the smaller, simple stuff that catches my eye.
Looking down I found mushrooms with a pattern and texture that made me pay attention. I’d love to turn the photo into fabric for a quilt! That would indeed be mixed media.
Nearby, the gunk on this stone seemed to glow and was soft to the touch. No cement here, just balance and smart architecture.
These poor sculpted bushes did not impress me…
…but this single, late blooming hydrangea will stay in my head for quite awhile.