I've opened our windows, sending Fee into paroxysms of kitty delight. Sprog is in his bouncy chair, and all is right with the world.
Well, maybe not. But we were able to go out earlier, in long sleeves and hoodies, instead of coats. Sprog came with me on my morning errands. Then I got coffee and a bite for lunch, and we headed to the park to enjoy them.
I had a thought, en route, feeling Sprog's weight in the carrier, resting on my hips. His legs brushing my sides as I strode along, shifting from left to right, made me think of elephants. I felt strong and steady, my feet meeting the earth with solid assurance.
I had a memory of riding an elephant, in a parking lot somewhere, or a zoo-- in one of those high-sided saddles that fit a small group. I remembered the crinkly feel of her skin.
I don't know if that memory is real. It could be.
There were daffodils, and crocus. We passed banks of purple heather on our way to the lower lawn. Not much grass yet. I spread a little blanket for Sprog-- one that used to be big enough to swaddle him. I sat on the carrier, to keep the wet dirt off my bum.
A little yogurt, a little ice coffee, a little bottle, a little rolly-polly in the sun. Then we headed home.
I got an email today, that warmed me from the toes up. (I'm looking at you, Ms. From Boston.)
I've had a disappointment. That's true. But I'm proud of the work I did. I finished something that started in a different life-- something left hanging, incomplete. I didn't win in the end, not because I can't do the work, but because I'm inexperienced.
I got to the final level of a fairly grueling process, competing against people that, so far as I can tell, all had years of experience working in the field I was just hoping to enter. That shows me that I must know how to paint. I have a lot to learn about professional practice, but I wouldn't have gotten that far if the talent wasn't there.
For the last few months, my tasks have been clear: take care of sprog, and work on my exam. Passed one stage? Time to prepare for the next.
It was comforting, having that script for my life-- knowing what I needed to do. Now I've finished that circle. I have to decide what's next.
What's my next dare-to-be-great situation?
J thinks that phrase sounds "a bit... grandiose, don't you think?"
Well, yes, a bit. I say it tongue-in-cheek. But not entirely.
I want my life to have a shape to it. I want to build something to be proud of.
I've got some ideas.
In the meantime, I have to say, I feel very lucky to have the Sprog, and sunshine, and readers like you.