days like this.

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When you don’t need to worry there’ll be days like this

When no one’s in a hurry there’ll be days like this

When you don’t need an answer there’ll be days like this

When all the parts of the puzzle start to look like they fit

Then I must remember there’ll be days like this

Van Morrison’s smooth voice comes out crackly and crisp all at the same time as I catch myself pausing to listen closely. His words from a bygone era, his tone so calming. Well my mama told me there’d be days like this. He sings of days that are just what they are, normal, cascading like hills into each other, hurried by neither crisis nor deadline. Just days. Slowly fading.

It’s this song that I find myself dialing back to again and again as I sneak into my cocoon, up to my eyeballs in things that need to be read and assignments yet to be done. I feel a certain calmness that I never used to. A sense that as I remember someone once telling me: this too shall pass. 

These next three weeks look like they will bring the perfect storm of deadlines and midterms and last minute trips and visits. Before, I would have freaked out- or at the very least might have hid under my covers. Oh all the things I have to do I would lament. But now, things are different. Maybe it’s age. Maybe it’s maturity. But I’m a little calmer, a little more at peace. Not so hurried. Nor so worried. Willing to take a risk even, to step out of line.

I was watching the Ladies long and short programs the other day in NBC’s Sochi coverage and was thinking about that first 30 seconds at the beginning of any program, when it’s just you out there on the ice waiting for your music to start. When I first started skating, I’d flinch in those 30 seconds. No way is this going to work out, I’d tell myself. Just like I used to say this week is going to be a hot mess. But as I grew to be a (more) seasoned skater and competitor I started to enjoy those 30 seconds, the calm before the storm, when you can see everything (or almost everything) lying right there in front of you, the jumping passes, the intricate footwork, the simple crossover. And then the music, it begins. And you, you skate. But in that first moment of dead silence, it’s just you and the ice. The audience stares back at you just as you stare ahead, at peace, ready. And then when it comes, the music that is, you push off. Those first few steps very well might determine the rest of the program. But in that moment, if you get it just right in competition, it’s not a moment to be scared of, its a moment just like another day, a day like this.

 These next three weeks are my long program, tonight is the 30 second pause. And I’m choosing to savor the calm that I feel right now, the haste I know will come, and the sweet reunion with my sister and family I can’t wait for on the other side. Happy start to your week sweet readers!

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