Cycling in the rain

I forgot how unpleasant it is to bike in the rain without a back fender.

That slice of Scot somewhere in my blood has left me with a solid attitude of making-do. As if using money and modern convenience to solve a problem is somehow too bourgeois.

Since taking the Quistic masterclass on personality type, I’m obsessed with typing everyone I know (type yourself here for free). When I’m feeding baby F, I go through the people I know and search for type patterns. For example, every member of my and J’s family is an I for introvert. Except for big old extroverted me.

It explains so much about my adolescent “behavioural issues” – convinced my parents didn’t love me when in fact they just didn’t ever feel like talking.

I get it now. Mind and heart open.

In British Columbia they have a problem with exotic birds finding good homes. This former nurse found her calling helping these birds and their adoptive humans find peace in their relationships. The birds are anxious, often bought and returned more than once by well-meaning but ignorant animal lovers. She implements simple systems rewarding good bird behaviour. When the birds scream in their cages the people leave the room. When the birds are quiet the people come back.

It works because the birds just want to be close to the people.

Social creatures, comforted by the presence of warm blood nearby. By a face and a voice and a beating heart. By the possibility of connection.

In choir we are working on this glorious piece. The first line ends with a tone cluster – notes sung together that don’t conventionally match. As singers our job is to find the heart of the dissonance and lean into it, often fighting against our instincts in order to do it correctly. But when we lock into it, it feels so right.

Only after the darkest hour, does the light emerge.

Our conductor asked us to sing those notes as if we were removing the lid from a canister containing pure light.

Un-cage-ing something unexpected, bursting forth.

This week one of my favourite podcast hosts Jonathan Fields published a manifesto. As a mother, as a carer, this jumped out: Self-care is the beating heart of other care.

That’s why this week’s yoga is about self care. Picture self massage, guided meditation and opening the heart chakra. Imagine a light shining out of your heart right now – bursting through your rib cage. Your heart cage. Are you sitting a little taller, making a little more space for it? You see, my personality type is all about inspiring people. I’m programmed to cultivate light. You know, me and Oprah (actually).  

In the coffee shop where I’m sitting all the men pick up the barista. So far they’ve talked about snowboarding, Toronto’s dashed baseball dreams, astronomy, California. The Adele concert. Butter croissants. Halloween costumes. I’ve been here for a while.

It’s time to bike home now and get back to baby F. Her hedgehog hair that looks like baby bird feathers. Born jet black and inexplicably lightening by the day, to wheat, butter or strawberry depending on the light. I love her so much. I’m the parrot that just wants to stay close.

Making do as I am with no fender in the rain, I’ll count on that ethereal light coming from inside my rib cage to carry me through all that splatter. A canister containing pure light.

It’s worth so much more than new bike parts anyways.

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