I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my feet the Sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch -
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.

Emily Dickinson, c. 1864

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Coffee and contemplation

Barista art

We are finally back inside our favorite coffee shop, Avellino's, with sparse seating but nevertheless we are back inside! These days when I arrive, after having taken the bus and getting in some steps, I fully expect to see John there, sitting in his favorite spot with his iPad open in front of him. Actually, we don't talk to each other nearly as much as we did when we were outside, but it's lovely to be returning to normal, even if things don't look or feel quite the same. Masks are optional if you are fully vaccinated, but there are many homeless people who hang out nearby, and I'm happy to see they come in to get coffee while wearing masks. They don't sit down inside but instead move to the chairs and tables outside.

I feel quite comfortable still wearing masks when inside places like the coffee shop, but once I sit down, we all drop our masks to drink our coffee and enjoy a breakfast treat. With the delta variant now the dominant strain of Covid in the United States, I fear a resurgence this fall as more and more of us move back inside. We are not yet done with this virus, even in places where we are mostly all fully vaccinated, but it's nowhere near the situation we were in a year ago, thanks to the vaccines.

Once the terrible heat wave receded, our temperatures have been pretty wonderful, in the low to mid-seventies (22–23°C) with full sun or a few morning clouds. By the afternoon, it's the only time I don't need a light jacket to carry with me, in case I get a bit chilly. And it's mid-July! I don't for a minute think we do not have warmer temperatures ahead, but not for the foreseeable future. It's super hot south of us in California, but we are quite comfortable. 

I went back to the Y the other day to see what the situation is there. Although the locker room is still unavailable, there are other showers that can be used if I bring my own towel and shampoo. I might start doing that next week, signaling another return to almost normal. There are a few classes, but my favorite hi-lo aerobic class is not one of them. Nobody seems to know if Joanne, the instructor, will be returning or not.

I am still taking three Zoom yoga classes a week, but people are beginning to return to the studio, slowly and carefully. Since you still need to bring your own supplies, I prefer sitting down in front of my iPad in my own living room. I do hope the Zoom classes will continue for awhile longer, but no matter what happens, I'll be enjoying yoga. I've learned so much over the years, and although my favorite teacher will be moving on at the end of the month, I'll find new instructors who will teach me other postures to challenge myself with.

I'm still rehabbing the ankle injury I sustained ten days ago, but it's much better, except when I first try walking on it, either in the morning or after sitting for awhile. I am using the RICE technique (Rest/Ice/Compression/Elevation) and will be thrilled when I can resume my usual activities in full. For the last few days, I have managed to get in all my 10,000+ steps, but it's slow going, and flat and even surfaces are needed to make sure I don't re-injure myself.

I've always been a bit of a klutz and seem to have more falls and scrapes than most people, and that was true even when I wasn't old. But with proper treatment, so far all my injuries have resolved themselves. Although not at the same level as before, I do hope that will continue into the future, with no need for hip or knee replacements. Frankly, I know very few people who have been able to return to their previous level of activity after replacing those joints. However, that said, our bodies are not meant to last forever, and I will deal with what comes into my life with as much equanimity as I can manage, no matter what.

The past year and a half has taught me that even though our entire lives can be turned upside down, we can and will cope, if we continue to maintain a positive attitude and take advantage of every avenue that presents itself. I now know many walking areas in my neighborhood that I have discovered over the past year, and I will continue to use them well into the weeks and months ahead. Although nobody knows what the future holds, I feel confident that we will adapt as needed, as long as we keep ourselves active and maintain a good attitude about it all.
You can't afford to get sick, and you can't depend on the present health care system to keep you well. It's up to you to protect and maintain your body's innate capacity for health and healing by making the right choices in how you live. —Andrew Weil

We may not be able to prevent illness and disease, but we can make a huge difference in outcome by how we live our daily lives. I know this to be true, and I see each day as an opportunity for growth and change. It also makes me feel so much better when I get outside and enjoy the trees, the flowers, the garden of green surrounding me. The walls of my home might keep me safe from many dangers, but I also need to venture out into the world as much as possible in order to keep myself from getting pulled down by all the sad events happening today. I don't do myself any favors by watching the news, but I can choose to limit what comes into my consciousness, and dilute it all by stepping out my front door with my walking shoes pointed in the direction of a nearby park.

Yesterday I pulled kale and beets out of my community garden and had a wonderful dinner with a vegetable salad, including many delights that could not have been enjoyed any fresher than right out of the ground! I also peeked at my potatoes and found a few that were sticking out and uncovered, so of course I harvested them and boy were they good! I also was able to get some compost over the rest of them so they won't get ruined by the sun. 

So, for now life is good, my ankle is better, and the day beckons to me. The coffee shop is calling, and my dear partner still sleeps next to me quietly, as I tap the keys and finally bring this Sunday morning meditation to a close. I do hope, my dear friends, that you find some time to enjoy your day and give thanks for the bounty that surrounds us. Until we meet again next week, I wish you call good things. Be well.


John's Island said...

Hello DJan, The thing I liked most about today’s edition of Eye … All your positive comments about walks. I am in full agreement with you about the value of walking, daily if possible. As it happens, while you were typing up Eye, I was out on my morning walk along the waterfront. I did think about you and wondered if your ankle injury would keep you from your regular walks. Glad to hear your ankle is better. Thanks for today’s post, take care, and be well. John PS I liked the quote from Andrew Weil. So true.

Linda Reeder said...

We are up and about, looking to another day of whatever happens. The painting is not done. the crew left early yesterday while we were out garden touring. We don't expect them back until tomorrow, but who knows. Soon I'll get started on my hour of physical therapy and then I'll pick our raspberries. Tom will scrub the front porch, since it is not real wood and will not be painted. We hope to be ready to move everything back in place soon.
I would really like to get back to normal here soon. It is currently a beautiful summer, and I would like to be able to just enjoy it. I try not to notice the big brown patches in the lawn, which will probably not green up again now until fall. We joked yesterday with other gardeners about the new "Crispy" varieties of plants.
Time to get going. Hoping you have a lovely day.

Arkansas Patti said...

So glad your ankle is healing and that you are still being active if slightly scaled back. Always good to have a plan B.
I just heard on the TV that Arkansas is recording 110% more cases. Sure wish these good folks would realize vaccinations are not a govt plot. So I will still mask up here.
Take care and stay cool.

Rian said...

Glad you are able to go inside your coffee shop again. I actually had a Starbucks Mocha Frap last week (first time since this pandemic started).And I agree with you about the news being a downer. I hardly watch anymore... but occasionally get a snippet of it when I check on the weather. I'm having a minor health issue now that doesn't help my attitude. But I'm trying to stay positive, knowing this issue will eventually resolve itself. Maybe I will try to take a walk today (if it's not too hot). Enjoy your Sunday!

Elephant's Child said...

This is SUCH a positive post. Thank you for the reminder. I am glad that your ankle is healing and awed that you manage 10000 steps despite it. You really are a pocket dynamo.

Far Side of Fifty said...

I wonder what Fall will bring also, so many unvaccinated people why??? Don't they want herd immunity?? I do not understand it. It makes me sad.

Gigi said...

Our newspaper had a headline that said the COVID cases here are rising. I am not shocked and wouldn't be surprised if we do have a surge here by fall.

I'm glad to hear the heat has broken and your ankle is on the mend!

I hope you won't ever need a hip replacement but my 90 year old mother-in-law had both of her hips replaced in the past few years and she was back to being the bowling champion of her league in no time!

Have a beautiful week!

William Kendall said...

Here our numbers keep trending down.

gigi-hawaii said...

Good to know that your ankle is slowly improving and that you still enjoy yoga. The YWCA beckons, too. Take care and God bless.

Marie Smith said...

Adapting as we age is the requirement of a long life and a privilege which so many didn’t have. Y father died at 60 and I feel privileged every day I have lived past that age. Adapting keeps life interesting for sure.

I too hurt my ankle recently and adapting to it has been a challenge but interesting as well. I am using RICE too and it has helped a great deal.

Have a great week, Jan.

Red said...

I agree that we have to continue to be active to have a good quality of life. Stretching and being active helps us to enjoy life.

Anvilcloud said...

We will enter the next phase at week's end. There will be some indoor dining once again although We will keeping it outdoors. It is summer after all.

Glenda Beall said...

Glad your heat wave is over and hope you don't get those temps again this summer. It is rainy, hot and humid here. I spend all weekend at our writers' booth at the festival on the square in Hayesville, NC and I am paying for it today. Sore and tired. But grateful I can still participate.

Madeline Hill said...

My family is undergoing so much stress right now.Sick family members. Loss of daily routines as we all wrap ourselves around all the tasks and emotions that dealing with illness entail, Your posts are so thoughtful and nourishing,This one in particular. Small pleasures like sunsets and good coffee, help!! It’s been quite a month or two around here, and I am exhausted,Your words were soothing and calming. When we hear that others have endured, we can,too.

Galen Pearl said...

Glad you are back in your coffee shop and enjoying a return to some of your activities. I was sorry to learn of your fall and ankle injury. As you know, I'm a big believer in alignment. There are some simple things you can learn about alignment that will help your balance and reduce your risk of falls. I'd be happy to give you some tips if you are interested. Just email me at galenpearl@gmail.com. I have helped some other folks with simple standing and walking exercises that you can just blend into your day without making extra time. Also, tai chi is so great for balance and alignment. Just some thoughts. Hope you are having a wonderful week. And yes, like you I'm very grateful for more pleasant summer temperatures. That was a rough few days!