“Everyone can exercise at least one hour per day,” claims the healthy octogenarian Dr. Norman Shealy. My respect for Doctor Norm had bloomed while studying the Medical Intuitive course he presented with Caroline Myss.
With the hour-a-day in mind, I ramped up last week: one Yoga class, three aquafit classes and two hikes. After nursing a very ill Duc le Chat the week before and after his Lazarus-like recovery, I needed to celebrate health and vitality.
Then Nature took command.
After a dry October, our watery retribution arrived in full force on the first Saturday morning in November. A loud, undulating rain pounded the metal roof and shook my peaceful, cat-less sleep. Listening from the comfort of my warm bed, I heard rain swoosh against windows. A chaotic symphony of wind chimes confirmed the leaf-blasting-blow had arrived. No wonder Duc stayed inside all night.
I slid out of bed, grabbed a shawl and dashed through the chilled house. I opened the outside door to a swirl of golden leaves and a driveway covered with dead, rust-coloured spruce needles. Streams ran down the street at the end of my driveway and fed waters that gushed through the culvert. The storm had been raging for hours.
“Perfect day to stay home,” I said and closed the door. I headed for the kitchen.
“Bleeeeep!” The smoke detector! The power had just gone off. Time to build a fire.
Once the wood was ablaze, I snuggled under a blanket and began my vigil of hunger. I longed for my gourd of hot Yerba Mate. I imagined a steaming bowl of porridge with liberally sprinkled cinnamon, a dollop of milk, a thin layer of maple syrup, and toppings of hemp hearts and chia seeds.
No computer! No writing, reading, connecting, paying bills, meeting deadlines, studying, playing games, movie watching, researching. In the glare of reality, my dependence on technology felt like a spiritual challenge. I grabbed my Isaac Singer novel and found detailed descriptions of war-torn Warsaw. Seeing the folly of my inner whining, I reluctantly admitted I lived in relative luxury, comfort and self-indulgence.
But a shower would be good. Or just enough hot water to wash my face. I chomped on a handful of mixed nuts and goji berries. Should I head to the village?
Not once did I consider going for a walk. Never thought about practicing Yoga moves. No long and deep meditation. Primal needs laid my brain at the base of Maslow’s hierarchical pyramid: Food, Shelter and Security. How long could I live like this? Could I actually figure out the Coleman camp stove someone gave me?
As wind and rain continued to blast the house, Duc settled into his favourite chair by the fire. He needed no electricity or technology to purr gratitude over his chicken thigh breakfast. Golden cat eyes blinked contentment.
“Blast this! I’m going to the Village” I said seconds before the smoke detector screeched its announcement. Electricity had returned. In an instant I was at the stove. The pot of porridge was soon bubbling and the water was boiling for my endless sips of Yerba Mate.
Having succumbed to lethargy and light-brained thinking, my pace for the rest of the day suited a Two-Toed Sloth.
The next morning, I was awakened by my walk buddy’s phone call. As we talked, sun beams streamed through half-closed blinds. Had power fully returned? Electricity, technology, motivation, energy, good health and freedom – the total package? The monkey mind had been replaced by enthusiasm.
We’re back in power, Dr. Norm! Meet us at the Cemetery! We’re up for a challenging Canadian coastal power-walk!