Sunday, July 22, 2012

Let's go (up on the roof)

In deference to a very funny New Yorker cartoon I once saw ("this might be the wine talking but I think we should order more wine") I say, about this weekend: "This might be the Vitamin D talking but I'd like some more Vitamin D".  I spent an inordinate amount of time out-of-doors this weekend.
It was fantastic.
No wonder people in Maine, in cottage and beach towns, and those with outdoor jobs seem so pathologically well-adjusted. Once you've had enough vitamin D, you feel invincible.  Like nothing could unravel you.

Friday night I had drinks with a friend, stayed out late, took the subway mid-town there and back, a late night walk along King St. just what I needed after a healthy amount of chardonnay and bubbly.
Saturday morning found me lounging around, drinking Gatorade, water, and coffee (at separate times), and then suddenly, looking at the clock as I finished a lazy blog entry--I had to drive up to North York to my bring my car in.
I did, with no traffic impediments, left the car there, and, dressed in my running gear, did just that--started running.
I did a quick painful 5 k (it was now just before noon, the sun beating down..conditions not ideal) and I was running with my water bottle in one hand and my Coach clutch in my other ( I KNOW how this looked. Trust me).  I made it from Dufferin and Caledonia to Yonge and St. Clair, all downhill, and was loving the shade I'd found and the breeze, when my sister called to tell me she was near my place and did I want to have lunch. I did, but I was not close to home. She volunteered to come and meet me. I ran east on St. Clair, south on Mount Pleasant (what a fantastic, shady, breezy route) and met her part way.
Sitting half-in/half-out on the Front St. patio of Jack Aster's we had a leisurely lunch, the two of us, with her kids. My car still not ready, ( I now have to pick it up tomorrow morning, and I have a 9am meeting, this is as inconvenient as it gets for me...) we headed to her backyard, filled up the plastic pool for the kids, and sat reading magazines while they hopped in and out of the water.
I got home early and went for another run. The heat had abated slightly by 7pm.
I had a late dinner and was asleep by 11.

Sunday morning. My niece's birthday party--11am. I debated--do I run before? Would I have time? How hot was it going to get? When my eyes opened at 9:30 am, the decision was made for me--I'd go to the outdoor party, at a local park, and run later. Donning a strapless dress I tried to catch the Queen streetcar, to no avail. Detours, blockages. I made it to Parliament, melting in my outfit and hailed a cab to the park, past Broadview. With time and weather on my side, I would have walked that, no problem. But the heat. The sun. My inadequate flip-flops. I was greeted with coffee and kites (which I helped to fly) upon arrival. And wasps, swarming the picnic table set up with a variety of food.
The afternoon wore on nicely, but it kept getting hotter in our little corner of the park, the kids waded in the wading pool, all the adults looking on longingly as they sashayed through the shallow water.

I got home around 4.  Up to the roof.  One of my neighbours was up there, but was wrapping things up as I arrived. I sat on a lounge chair with a book, sunscreen, water, and my ipod. I had a nice half hour of sunshine before clouds, blessed clouds, moved in. I smelled the rain before it hit me, giant drops, no shelter on the roof except to stand in the door way that leads to the roof entrance.  I waited it out and the rain subsided, and I sat back down, looking at the city, streaked now with grey and smelling that wet-rain-cement smell. I looked over the balcony railing onto the neighbouring rooftops, bringing to mind a memory of a New York City rooftop that Mike and I had once visited when we were first dating, while on a trip to see my friend L. It was late night, I was eaten alive by mosquitoes, but we were all together, drinking wine, looking at the night.
The rain started again, in earnest, and I packed up my bag. It was time to run. I've had so little running-in-the-rain this summer that I was eager to get out there. It was a good run, an average run, a short run, and sometime in the next few months (ie, BEFORE the half-marathon) I need to somehow get back into the groove of running. I'm at odds with myself as to how that's going to happen, but it will.
On the way back from my run, walking, I looked at balconies, stoops, little hamlets, snatches of outdoor space in the city--some had kitchen chairs as their outdoor seating, what I think of as a Canadian way of getting the best out of this season called summer, that we have for such a short time, before descending back into cold and darkness.
Now it's Sunday evening, dinner has been eaten, I've showered (again), I've assessed my suntanned skin, I'm drinking dreamland tea, and I'm settling in to read a book before going to bed early.
The rain had started up again a few minutes ago, but the sky remained light, with clouds shape-shifting and transforming.
The power of weather to transform us, drag us out of ourselves, to somewhere lighter, more manageable, more forgiving.

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