Wednesday, July 26, 2006

We're havin' a heat wave.

The heat is back. Humidity raises the tempertures beyond comfortable. I continue to bike through it. I continue to not complain. We had a few days when it felt a little cool at night and I started to miss the heat. It's back and I know it can be oppressive but I like it.

The weather is generally a subject I avoid since I find that it is often used as a conversation filler with people. Whenever there's a lull in coversation inevitably the weather will come up. Even if it is the perfect temperature outside someone will bring up the weekend forecast or a dramatic change in weather in another part of Canada or the world. I understand this urge since it's a universal experience, something we can share with another person no matter how well or little we know them.

Even in the humidity and under the high UV levels, I continue to bike, run and walk everywhere. I do these things at a slower pace than usual. I do not want to face the rush hour street car with standing room only or the treadmill at the gym (although the gym does have some new kick a** bikes I'm eager to try out -- I can't tell you how long I've been waiting for them to replace those same clunky four upright bikes that I stopped riding all together because they became so annoying to use. Yes, I complained to them to get them fixed, but complaints often fall on deaf ears there). We don't own a car nor do we need to living where we do. So I've been moving through the thick heavy air a gear lower on the bike, shortening my stride and taking a few minutes more to complete my running goals, slowing my walking pace from point A to point B. The benefits outside of keeping my body temperature lower have been that I've taken time to notice the city around me that reflects what's going on in my interior world. I've taken time to notice the gardens (of course) and the choice and placement of plants or the randomness of blooms. I've passed by rental properties, taking in the possible benefits and drawbacks of living in the space, taking into consideration the houses next to and across from the property, if it's on an alley or not, how the exterior is maintained (or not) and I've even noticed cats in windows or dogs barking close by.

I've discovered new routes to and from work. On my way to work there are a few cross sections that are necesary to pass through. The crossing guard remains at the corner because of day camps and day cares. She speaks to mostly everyone. I see the same elderly man taking his morning walk. There's a small group in the park doing Tai Chi every morning. It looks very enticing. I wish I had time and/or the courage to join them. There's often a woman doing yoga in the park and it looks so serene. I can't imagine being able to do yoga alone in such a public place. Coming home I tend to be a little more focused on the destination than the world around me and I tend to stick to the same route that is quick, safe and avoids a steady climb north. I'm still trying to find the best way home that avoids the busy streets as much as possible. There's not much time to look around if you have to worry about the traffic speeding past you or the street car stopping at every corner.

Today, I'm slowing my pace to walk to the gym instead of biking. This evening I have a catering job at the other end of town, way way out at one of whoville's Ikeas. This seems an odd place for us to be working, but what do I know about how these things get booked. I just get the phone call with the time and place. I won't be biking. There is a limit and there's also a threat of a thunder storm so I'll take the long air conditioned subway journey. It will be a break from the heat and a good chance to catch up on one of the many books I have on the go. Maybe we'll get the burst that will break the heat spell and maybe when I leave work the storm will have passed and the streets will be dark and wet, the air still and cool.


mister anchovy said...

tai chi is addictive.
A few years ago I started to learn Chen style tai chi, the earliest form, and then the second form which is very thing you know, I was doing the single competition sword and single fan and double fan forms, then started the double sword (which is spectacularly beautiful)....then stuff happened....Tuffy and I were getting married, and I had to work in Ottawa for a couple months, and we bought a house, and next thing you know, I traded my tai chi addiction in for other activities. I'm still not sure how it happened.

sp said...

You may get back to it yet. It's amazing how we can start something for whatever reason in our lives and end up completely involved and engrossed in the activity. I had a similar experience taking up swimming a few years back. I mean I could swim and stay afloat etc, but I started taking lessons for adults that taught strokes properly. Not long after I started swimming almost every day. I never thought about competitive or anything like that, but to not be in the pool was a missed opportunity for me. Then...there was moving from Victoria etc etc and I've never really had the time to get back to it.