Being Tom Sawyer

The 10-day cold snap is about to be history.

The temperature and winds are similar to the weather I left Dec 1. However, being closer to the North Pole makes this chill seem more frigid, or perhaps, physiologically, it just makes it feel colder.

Either or … the temps have been hanging around -1 C since the beginning of last week.

Which means the heat has been on high throughout the day. And kettle-hot water bottles go under the covers at bedtime. Which I have come to adore.

Getting into a warm bed is like walking into my own fluffy cloud. It’s inviting. Safe. Soothing.

I’m seriously considering never climbing into a bed any other way again.

Oh, and my sleep? Like a child. Every. Night. Gone are my raccoon eyes, and those two cups of morning Joe.

I’ve been a wishy-washy sleeper for 2 years now.

I wake often. House noises startle me. So much so that I’m unsettled until dawn comes through the windows. Then, and only then, can I catch up on whatever is left until my alarm goes off.

Sometimes, as I’m heading to bed, I wonder what’s the point.

But that’s not that way it works here.

Nope. Here, when I rest my head on my pillow, I fall asleep easily. I dream. I wake 8+ hours later fresh. Then, surprise!, it rinse and repeats the next night.

How nice is that?

And, as I like to say: Nice is just, so, nice.

Moving on …

On Saturday, my friend and I drove east for about an hour until we stumbled up a village called Downside.

I spotted the spires on the hill, so we navigated the narrow hedge road up to a 19th century Benedictine Abbey. Unfortunately, it was closed to the public for the Sunday service chorus practise.

So, we walked the frozen green grounds and looked up at the various roof linings of the church.

And as we stood looking up, the sounds of the choir inside floated out.

I really cannot fully explain what it is like to stand in front an Abbey, in a light brisk breeze, in a previously unknown place, and listen to waves of harmonic human voices fill the afternoon air.

It was magical and mystical for sure.

Downside and its unexpected musical gem is the reason I like to go “left, right, left” on weekends.

It’s also what I call the “Tom Sawyer” in me.

Simply translated?

I purposely put myself in a spot that I’ve never been before, so I can experience something I never would have, had I not turned left or right. Or, in the case of Tom, lost track of place and time as I played with rocks in the small creek-like river bed.

To understand this, is to understand me.

Wandering about like that does me good.

It literally has given me hundreds of vignettes to share with friends and strangers, as well as lets me have private moments to pause and reflect on what I’ve seen along my way.

There are many things that I would change about who I am and what makes me tick.

But that one?

Yeah, that one stays.

Happy Sunday.

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