|Primroses for sale at the grocery store|
And Tuesday is St. Patrick's Day, which means I've got to remember to wear green that day or I'll get lots of grief at the coffee shop for forgetting. There was a parade in town yesterday but I wasn't around, having traveled down to Skydive Snohomish for Safety Day. It was a downright terrible day for a parade, though, with steady rain and dreary skies. A good day for being indoors.
We needed the rain, though, since it had been dry for the entire month of March until yesterday's soaking. With the snowpack in the mountains only a fraction of normal, there are already people worrying about a drought during the summer months when it hardly ever rains. I know that seems hard to believe when I complain about the rain that always seems to come on a Thursday, my hiking day with the Senior Trailblazers. I've grown quite accustomed to the weather in the Pacific Northwest, and it seems unusual when we get a string of days without any precipitation, except late July to early September. It was a really unusual winter, with much more sunshine than usual.
I get a massage every third Friday, and I really needed the one I received last week, after all the stress of the collision on March 6. It will be another three weeks before my car will be repaired, so I am forced to drive it around with the bumper all crunched in and the grill pushed out of position. The adjuster at the body shop said it's safe to drive, even on the freeway, but I drive it at slower than normal speeds and not very often. Fortunately for me, most of my driving is around town and I can take the bus most places that I need to go. (Smart Guy drove to Snohomish and back yesterday.) I am still very skittish behind the wheel after that accident. And the citation came in the mail, a whopping $175 ticket for my failure to yield on a left turn. Not to mention however much my car insurance will increase. A very expensive lesson indeed, but once the car is fixed, I can stop being reminded of it every single time I drive anywhere.
While I was receiving the massage, my therapist has an iPod that she plugs into her speakers to play soft music without having to listen to the same music all the time. She uses Pandora's New Age music channel, and it's always wonderful music without anything to make me focus on it, no rhythm or beat of any sort. I always enjoy it, but on Friday there was some very different sounding music that touched me very deeply. I asked her to see what it was, so that I could order it for my own relaxation. The name she was able to find is Sei He Ki and is a Reiki meditation. Well, all this was new to me, since I had never even heard of Reiki healing before.
It turns out that Sei He Ki is one of three symbols used in Reiki, and this one is the mental/emotional symbol, used to help people bring to the surface their problems and release them. I guess this was fortuitous for me, because it certainly helped me. Not only did I receive a great massage, but the music was so irresistible that I found it on YouTube and listened to it for an hour yesterday. Very relaxing. I will definitely buy it on iTunes once I find it. Fortunately I can listen to tracks from the available albums until I find this very one. Just another tool in my repertoire to keep myself as healthy as possible, in mind, body, and spirit.
Sometimes I worry that I am just trying to stave off my inevitable decline and that I am in denial of the fact that I really am well into my seventies and have already lived a full life. I read a passage from Cicero from his essay, written in 44 B.C., on old age. Cicero was a Roman statesman who was 62 when he wrote it, and a quick google search reveals that lots of people have gained solace from reading his words, just as relevant to us today as they were more than two thousand years ago. I found a blog post that pretty much sums up everything he says in that essay. What struck me is the reminder that everything has its season.
Enjoy the blessing of strength while you have it and do not bewail it when it is gone unless you believe that youth must lament the loss of infancy, or early manhood the passing of youth. Life’s race-course is fixed; Nature has only a single path and that path is run but once, and to each stage of existence has been allotted its own appropriate quality; so that the weakness of childhood, the impetuosity of youth, the seriousness of middle life, the maturity of old age — each bears some of Nature’s fruit, which must be garnered in its own season.Even though there are moments of stress in my life, there are also many ways to cope with it, if I am willing to acknowledge that I have it. Every morning these days when I first get out of bed (after my cup of tea and my session with the laptop), I perform the Five Tibetan Rites. I started them last summer when I read a book about Olga Kotelko, who died at the age of 95 while still competing in track and field events. I wrote about her on my other blog, here, last summer. There's a video at the end of her at 93, describing why she competes. Anyway, some of her fellow competitors used the Rites as a way to prepare themselves for competition, and I learned about them and started doing them myself. I don't know if they have actually made any difference. Who knows? And now I have some relaxation music to help with my mental stresses. How did I ever get along before the Internet?
Not to mention all the friends and acquaintances I have made through blogging. I almost always have to mention how grateful I am for your presence in my life when I'm getting ready to sign off for the week, and this upcoming week is no exception. I hope you keep yourself as healthy and happy as possible until we meet again. I'll be busy doing the same.