Somewhere between the if-you-don’t-have-anything-good-to-say-don’t-say-anything-at-all camp and the it’s-still-freaking-winter-and-I’m-climbing-the-walls camp, is a place of OK-ness. You know, OK: you aren’t jumping for joy euphorically, but neither are you throwing in the towel and running the Sylvia Plath bath.
And today, I must say, OK sounds pretty darned good.
To that end I took my butt out for a run, because one sure place not to find OK is within the 4 walls one has been climbing this live-long winter.
So here’s my list of totally random and miscellaneous crap that, oddly enough, makes me feel OK, and, at moments, even happy:
1. The track! It’s been an icy-snowy-eon since anyone’s been able to make out anything resembling a track at my dear Danehy Park, and today, well, there it was! Beeeeauuuuutiful. It was all I could do not to kneel prostrate and kiss its lanes. So thank you thank you for a track to run on.
2. Legs to run with. (Before you go getting too impressed you should know that I am not one of those lithe-bodied chicks who make running look like a breeze… Oh no, it’s me, Heidi. I got me some thick-chick legs here, thanks to my, um, stock. Which brings me to a big tangent (hence “random crap”):
3. About stock… As I pondered the wonders of my thick un-gazelle-like legs moving me about said track, I remembered a phrase my parents used to use—among others—to describe someone: “He comes from good stock” they might say, or some such.
Pray tell, smart reader, to which stock does such expression refer? Are we talking soup? If so, I hope I came from a nice and rich chicken stock with plenty of herbs and garlic.
Are we talking Wall Street? God help us all.
Are we talking warehouse shelves of merchandise? Who knows. Hunh. If so, I can only hope I come from books, or beautiful silk fabrics, or quills to write with, and not, oh, carburetor nuts (is there even such a thing?) or toilet plungers—
4. And speaking of tangents, I gotta come clean on something: I don’t really run. You know, not really really. What I do could best be described as a jogging-walking combo thingie that I simply prefer to call “running” because it sounds sexier. Cooler. Rico suave. Or something.
You: Hey, Heidi, what are you up to?
Me: Oh, I’m about to go out for a run.
You: Hey, Heidi, what are you up to?
Me: Oh, I’m about to go out and do my walking-jogging alternating 2 minute thing.
See? That’s exactly what I mean. You just made my point.
And, not that you asked but I’m doing the Couch-to-5K thing. As the name implies, it gets you up from the couch to the finish line of a 5K. You build up, incrementally, bit by bit, week by week. It’s pretty cool. I’ve been hanging around on the week 4 regimen for a few months now. Apparently I’m in no hurry about that 5K!
4. I always thought that the animal I most resembled was the squirrel. I have never liked it one bit. Not the squirrel, and obviously then, not resembling it either.
But, in my worst anxious or compulsive or fearful moments? Yeah, pretty much I’m a squirrel.
Last week, walking home from the market, I surprised a squirrel, and rather than scurrying up the tree, it just stood there like a
deer squirrel in headlights. You could tell it was anxious. On edge. It was like, “Um, excuse me lady, what are you doing just standing there staring at me?” And I was like, “Um, what are YOU doing just staring at ME!”
After a minute of this I realized I should be the “bigger man” and walk away. So I shrugged nonchalantly and walked on. But not without the niggly feeling, once again, that we have much in common, those squirrels and me: always scurrying about, to and fro, here and there, waiting for crumbs, hoarding nuts for upcoming famine… And I felt pretty much doomed to my squirreldom.
Why can’t I be more like an elephant, I thought. Or a dolphin. Or a whale. But alas, squirrel energy is what I got. (At least when I’m feeling bad about myself and not so much enjoying my company, like in wintertime, like lately). So, I’ve been pretty much just trying to make peace with that—my restless energy—-and then today, my friend Lizi greeted me on the phone with this:
5. “How’s my little hummingbird friend?”
Honest to god those were her words and unbeknownst to her, she gave me a new animal to be and I’m very very excited about that. Truth is, I’ve outgrown squirrel. Not that I don’t have that kind of hyper-alert thing still going on. But I need wider, a fuller view on it all. Enter hummingbird. Or colibrí, as we call them in Spanish.
They hover, doing a helicoptering kind of thing to remain stationery yet aerodynamic in order to suck the nectar out of flowers. They fly. They get the hell around! And they hum. Or rather, their wings make a humming sound from moving so fast.
So, get this: in order to replenish their energies to keep doing all their joyous humming activities, they must rest. A lot. They actually do a hummingbird version of deep bear-like hybernation every day in order to conserve and replenish energy for their strong and busy little wings. And here I thought all they did was hum and hover and fly! Alas, me thinks again.
So, wee-hee! I a hummingbird be! Move along squirrel. My days as you are over.
I’ve always thought squirrels were super cute, but I love the idea of the hummingbird too! You definitely have some magical hummingbird energy going on. 🙂
Magical hummingbird energy! Cool. You could be right, Leah!
Hummingbirds are way more cool than squirrels. Nothing against squirrels, but it’s not generally a compliment when someone says you’re squirrelly. Hummingbirds move about quickly too, but I don’t know, they just seem to be more in control about it. You probably wouldn’t have a stare down with a hummingbird. Congratulations on what I consider a promotion!
@terry No doubt about it being a promotion for freaking sure! And I couldn’t have made it happen before its time. For years the squirrel was it. I didn’t like it so much but there it was. They showed me a lot about myself by reflecting my qualities back to me.
But I believe it’s now time for the hummingbird. It seems I am finally expecting different from myself 😉
Yes, I can really see the flow, the sweep, the energy, the control, the freedom… all of those qualities of a hummingbird. Wonderful.
I used to kind of have squirrels as wild/tame friends when I was in my teens. We had a huge back yard filled with huge trees (yes, I was very lucky in that respect) filled with black squirrels. (I lived in Toronto at the time.) I would coax them to me with peanuts and several of them became quite tame with me. (I know that Experts and Authorities would tell me that was very stupid – but what the hell.)
Anyway, I spent many hours watching these creatures, really getting to know them. They would often hang out on the trees, clinging on with their back legs spread out, flattened against the bark, head down – looking utterly insoucient – just hanging. They would playfully (it sure looked playful) chase each other through the trees, flinging themselves from branch to branch and tree to tree with such ease and sureness. They would make me laugh and laugh with their catch-me-if-you-can flirtations, flicking their tails, chattering, leaping.
Something that I found very endearing was how energetically they would carefully and lovingly hide their nuts in the fall. They were actually pretty bad at remembering where they had stashed them and there would be a plethora of oak seedlings in the lawn come springtime. It was almost more like a game than really anxiously preparing for winter. (They also hibernate.)
Playful, cheeky, energetic, confident, graceful, sleek (especially when they got a bit fat), determined (I am remembering the one that was most tame with me), and totally, absolutely themselves. No apologies. I’m here. This is me.
And I loved them.
So this has kind of turned into a little ode to squirrels. Perhaps there is a space for both creatures.
@Barbara — Gosh, I should have brought up the squirrel thing earlier!
Doesn’t it always help to put things out and get some perspective? I can’t see what I don’t see until I see it!
In any case, I absolutely LOVE hearing your Ode toSquirrels. My mind was so made up about them I hadn’t found playful or lighthearted in their mix of qualities. Or maybe Boston squirrels are different than Toronto squirrels… ! hahahah Big thank you over here! xo
Heidi Hummingbird | Hummingbird Heidi
What color are your little feathers?
Which flowers do you like to drink from?
What does it feel like when your heart beats so fast?
Where do you go when it’s cold outside?
Can I put some glitter on you?
– Amy, Age 5