There's a single red poppy in my garden. Yesterday it was a ball of green and this morning, the colour shone forth -- red as shameless lipstick. It has not yet opened, but by tomorrow night, the petals will likely be strewn about on the ground, spent. But tonight, it's there, brilliant and singular and vivid.
Which is good because this week has not exactly been that sort of week. It hasn't been a bad week in any way, but it hasn't been brilliant.
I fell off my bike a week ago and it was the next day that I noticed the sharp bruised pain in my lower back that came as the result of bike seat meeting my seat. Three days later we had The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Pool -- and the leaping of the rescuing dog owner, who fortunately happened to be at hand when the dog stepped out onto the pool cover to test its and his buoyancy. By evening, my clothes were still damp and my other hip was complaining. (Interestingly, a bout of lifting and spreading two cubic yards of mulch actually made a positive difference to these woes which slowed me down for much of the week.)
Another aspect of my week involved Recently Employed Son #1. My almost fifteen year old son did the not-impossible-but-difficult thing recently : finding a decent job at the age of 14. He works as a dishwasher in a new gourmet burger restaurant with walking distance of our house. He's the youngest employee by far. Driving him home at midnight last weekend -- after his third of four evening shifts on the long weekend -- I asked him whether he felt older. He said he did, that most of his friends had spent the weekend at Wonderland or cottages while he was working each evening. I recognize that I don't have the body of a 14 year old (see paragraph above) nor the stamina, but it has been anxiety-producing in me to watch this kid burn the candle at both ends and in the middle. The other comment he made about his new job -- other than the running income tallies -- was that there was no longer any room for procrastination in his life. Which, in itself, is a great thing and I'm delighted to see it. However, work is not his only commitment. He took on the job, being assured the restaurant would open later in June, rather than in mid-May. This would be good because his season on the bantam rugby team would be over by the first week of June. And then, around the time that the restaurant actually opened, the fly-half on the junior team got injured (as fly-halfs apparently do) and my boy was called up to this team, in addition to maintaining his role as fly-half and captain of the bantam team. (Are you still following along?) And then came the mysterious "summatives" -- year end projects in virtually every subject. Group meetings, research, videos, power point presentations, brochures, song and dance numbers, classroom lessons must all be planned between dishwashing shifts, rugby practices and matches, school, oh and sleep. Sleep is like the fly-half in this game, more than a little injured. My fear is that he will get injured or sick from the pace he's keeping. Especially this week.
This week promises to be weird and possibly wonderful. (Close your ears robbers who read this blog). This week, my husband heads off to St. John's, Newfoundland for three days of presentations -- just as he spent three days in PEI two weeks ago. Two weeks ago, I got very excited to see him return. This week, at the end of the third day of single parenting, I will hop on a plane and join him in Newfoundland where we will wend our way to the northern tip to see the little town where he was born. We're missing the rugby championship, one work shift for son #1 and several major summatives and math tests. The last time we went away, he got sick. I am deliriously excited about the prospect of a trip with my husband, but I feel like the energy of the week is weird -- gird loins for first half of week, relax for second half and hope that all is well at home. And then, a week from now, I will be home again, hopefully having seen the massive icebergs that are currently resident in the harbour of the small town at the top of the Rock.
I visited a different church this morning to celebrate their new building, and the choir sang a song where two lines repeated over and over again: Take me to the water, take me to the sea/ Take me to the water and set my spirit free. This week, this day, I saw this in the single poppy -- which has actually started to open up in the sunset even as I write -- but this week, my prayer, my hope is that I will be able to sit by the sea with my love, and that there, in the presence of icebergs and whales, my spirit will indeed be set free.