Wednesday, September 29, 2010

the long thesis trek

When I was on the Camino I would walk almost every day, for weeks on end. I became very aware of the ebbs and flows in my energy. Some mornings the kilometres passed as smooth as water, on other days each step was a challenge. But I kept moving forward, step by step, through driving rain, beating heat or gentle breezes.

My life has changed oh so much since then. But as I am in the last stretch to finish my thesis, I'm struck by the similarities between walking 1,500+ km and researching and writing 100+ pages.

For one thing, just as my strength each day was not the same, my mental clarity seems to vary from day to day. Some days I get on a roll. I don't notice the hours pass. Ideas fall into place, reading is a pleasure and words come easily.

On other days, I can read the same paragraph 4 times and still not be sure what it says. I stare at my open document and can't figure out how to untangle the mess of words. If time was not an issue, it would be nice to spend such days away from the computer, to tidy my house instead of my text, to bake muffins for my daughter or unwind with some knitting. But as with the pilgrimage, each day I moved forward, despite the weather, despite the variations of my strength.

So this little blogging break aside, I will continue on today. Step by step, word by word. And one day, I will arrive.

Friday, September 17, 2010


Having mastered walking, Miya has been looking for new challenges.

Given that her feet aren't quite long enough to reach the stirrups, horseback riding was out. Seeing as how her parents don't have a piano, she couldn't sign up for piano lessons. And although briefly considering para gliding, she recognized that with winter coming, it probably wasn't the best time.

So when her mom presented her with option of a gymnastics class, Miya (literally) jumped at the chance. Her mother watched in awe as, in the first class, her 16-month old hung from the bars and rings, bounced on the trampoline and did headstands and somersaults.

Miya is now working on convincing her parents to refurnish the house in foam padding, trampolines, tunnels and swings.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Summer at the Park

The other day Miya was watching leaves falling from the tall trees surrounding our neighbourhood park. "Uh-oh," she said, pointing at them. Uh-oh indeed. Not only is the tree dropping its leaves (anything being dropped or thrown is 'uh-oh') but our warm summer days at the park are coming to an end.

The park has become practically a second home for Miya this summer. Often upon waking from a nap her first word will be 'park' - and sure enough, after a quick diaper change and a gathering of sun hat, snacks, water and other random toddler accoutrements, we are off to the park - not even five minutes from home.

Miya is never lacking in ways to amuse herself - pushing around one of the park push toys, splashing in the wading pool, digging in the sand, climbing on the play structure, swinging, running and roaming - or simply sitting on a bench to have a snack and watch other kids.

The lazy summer hours have slipped away and as much as I love fall, we will certainly miss our summer at the park.