Monday 25th of April, 2016
“What a racket” I thought as I woke from a deep sleep. My eyes opened enough to get a peek at a man through the blind scaling a ladder outside my bedroom window. I could hear more bodies on our roof and as a whole, it felt like an enormous animal was bounding around above me. Can you imagine a super sized squirrel, like a giant prehistoric rodent atop our house? Well that isn’t what was happening, but one can imagine such things. What was really happening is that the roofers had arrived and there were five men on our roof and more on the ground. Ladders went up, and tarpaulins went down, it was a bit like our house was a circus tent and the men were about to put on a show.
We were expecting them any day the weather patterns allowed, and so even though it was a shock to wake up in such a way, it was not a surprise. When I was up and out of bed I went to find the girls. The clatter had also stirred them, but instead of coming right to me for a morning hug like they usually do, they were seated on Maya’s bed at the window. Together the three of us watched pieces of old roof tile fly from above. Along with the roof tiles we could see bits of splintered wood and old sturdy long nails landing on the grass below. The tiles are made from a pliable bitumen. They are a coarse textured vintage plastic and as I saw the pile mounting up, I could not help but think of where they came from and where they would go. They had been on our house for 50 years and now they were bound for landfill.
The tiles were being thrown from our roof in a hap-hazzard fashion, and would soon be loaded into an enormous dumpster that had just been delivered in our driveway. It was a finely tuned skillful mess. Everything seemed to be happening with such precision and practice, but my goodness, you should have seen it, it was an orchestrated chaos. Bangs and creaks and crashes. You could hear the squeak of straight and strong soldier like nails being ripped from the grip of the timber by a crowbar. I could feel my heart all a pitter patter. “Our poor house!” Everything in our world is personified for me. Even our house has feelings and emotions and I was thinking about how it might feel at this moment, getting it’s roof ripped off. I can only imagine it is like going to the dentist for a tooth extraction or having your skin scrubbed. These men were not gentle, they were ruthless. I don’t say that in an unkind way, ruthless in the same way a termite eats through wood. They were doing their job.
Glass shattered and with some trepidation I opened the back kitchen door. More bits were flying through the air. At my feet was a pile of glass, and to my right was our back porch light, tilted to one side, and missing the antique cover. “Oh, that lovely glass cover. Gone!” I tried to tell myself that these things just happen, but of course, part of me was rewinding life back 30 minutes, where I could have been standing outside and putting a protective cover over the fixture. If I had known I needed to, I would have. I bent down to take a closer look a the broken glass and the beautiful colour of the wood shards caught my attention. I picked up a piece and held it to my nose, with a large inhale I could instantly tell the tree it was from. “Cedar!” I said out loud. “Our old roof was lined in cedar.” I said incredulously. The artist inside felt like gathering all of the cedar and sanding it. This precious wood deserved to be a sculpture, not rubbish. With such realizations I am prone to melodrama, so I quickly stood up and shut the door so I could forget about the waste and my inability to do all the things I think of.
The girls were at the bench when I re-entered the kitchen. “I hope our new roof is as good as our old roof.” I said with some sentimentality, thinking of the cedar, and slow days when things were done differently. I don’t know why, but I sensed the new roof would not last as long as the old roof. This was to be the third roof for our 90 year old house and I wondered would this new roof last until it was 140 years old?
We became trapped inside for the day. Out every door and window were huge piles of debris. Splinters and nails, did not look inviting to tread over and so we dared not step out. We also did not want to be in the way of the workers, or risk being hit on the head with flying asphalt. With nowhere to go, it made sense to make the best of the day inside.
With the outside of our house a giant mess, intuitively I had to make the inside of our home look tidy and loved. I cleaned off the dinning room table where we do our school work, and then I went and found an old Spring themed Sakura tablecloth that I bought in Japan many years ago. The tablecloth needed to be pressed and so I went up to the attic to iron it. When I reached the attic, there before my eyes was an unexpected pile of vintage roofing insulation. As I looked up I could see a man though a hole in the ceiling. Some kind of accident had occurred and he was working quickly to cover up the hole from the outside. A large piece of our attic ceiling hung down like a wilted leaf. The light fixture was dangling by cords, and at my feet was a textured blanket of vintage cotton insulation. In the past ceiling insulation was cotton wadding, and so there on the floor was a pile of broken cotton clumps. That might sound very pretty, like our attic was full of fluffy white clouds. Let’s imagine that for a moment… Ah yes, so lovely! But it was not that at all, it was old dirty cotton that has been in our roof for 90 years. It was grey and dusty and seemed to dissolve in my finger tips. The ironing board was beneath the hole in the ceiling and it was also covered in wads of the disintegrating cotton. Our nature collection on the shelves had been caught in the cotton downpour too. “Oh my goodness!” I said out loud. I put my head down the stairwell and called out, “Cam, you have to come and see what happened.” I was not at all worried, it was just a random happening, and in part I was fascinated to handle all the old roofing material. Cam came up to the attic, and it was decided that I would be the one to clean it all up. I did not feel like cleaning at that moment as the roofers were still working on that part of the roof and there might be another incident, so I decided instead that I would bake pies.
We had bought some rhubarb last week and it was time for it to be cooked. Maya wanted a rhubarb pie, and Elle wanted a different to Maya’s and so we made three pies. One to please each of the girls and a miniature pie for the fairies. I must clarify that it is not that the girls wanted to eat a pie each, it is that they like to choose the flavor of the pie, so I let them each have their choice. Truth be told, Cam eats most of the pies.
Despite all of the noise and mess, it was an exciting time for us. The tradesman arriving represented crossing some things off our to do list. We had formed a list of things that we would like to have done before we sell our house, and a new roof was the most significant hurdle.
So the day went by, and the next day was more of the same. It was like we were sitting in a box and someone was on the outside bashing the box…. well actually, it was not ‘like’ this, it was this. We sat inside our pretty little box and on the outside were the team of workers bash, bang, clashing.
This went on for days and days. They work very quickly, but there was a lot to of work to do. A new roof, new gutters, some carpentry work to repair wood root, and fresh paint. We have a good sized house with many rooms spread over four floors. The basement, the first and second floors and the third floor, which is an open plan attic. It is a very special house that was well taken care of up until we purchased it and we wanted to maintain the same level of care. Things that are cared for last longer and so we decided to invest in home maintenance and restoration before we sell it so that we would pass it on to the new owners in loved condition.
As I looked out the window on the first day I was thinking about all the men doing the work. They were all very similar looking. There was no obvious diversity. “The workers are all men!” I said out loud to the girls. “Do you think that means that women are not so interested in being roofers?” I wondered out loud. The only thing I could think is that women do not want to be roofers. I am sure there are some women somewhere working on a roof, but on our front lawn there was a distinct gender pattern. I put that thought to rest, and then low and behold three mornings later when I looked out the window, there was a woman. “Well, thank you universe!” I said, smiling to myself. I very much wanted to run out and speak to her, but I had a sense I did not speak the right language. I am always a little upset with myself that my communication is limited. I instantly wanted to have my friend Amy by my side so that she could translate my questions. It is not that I assumed that this women would not understand me, but there is an articulate form that your first language allows and I wanted access to that and as she spoke I could tell she was not speaking English. Anyway, I had to be content with sitting at the window and looking out so that I did not create an awkward situation with me asking strange questions. So I was left to make things up based on what I saw.
In a comfortable matching set of leggings and sweater there stood a woman in our yard. Cloths are very interesting to me and so I took note of her choices. A Mayan type print covered her almost completely, in a red, white and black pattern. Beneath her sweater, which matched her leggings, she wore an electric blue t-shirt. There she stood, looking up the ladder, watching her husband and it was very clear to me after watching her for a moment she was not here to work, but to keep him company. My heart filled with goodness, because this women was presumably choosing to spend her day off with her husband as he worked. Much of the major roof work had been done, and there were only two workmen left on the roof. I did not sit at the window and stare, that would have been uncomfortable, but I did look out every now and then to see what she was doing. All day she occupied herself in our yard. In a motherly way she was tidying. Folding tarpaulins, and generally organising things. I am not sure why I considered it motherly, but it was how I would tidy things myself, with a certain care. Her husband was up high on our roof and I caught a look in her eyes as she watched him. There was a large piece of old guttering being lowered by rope from the third floor to the ground. There is no doubt in my mind the skill the work person on the roof possessed, but I swear I saw the tiniest flicker of worry flash across the woman’s face. It touched my heart further, this man had someone on the ground, worrying about him. Worry is an interesting thing, in just the right measure, it means love.
As I said, the lady went about lightly filling in her time in our yard in order to be with her husband while he worked. At one point Cam came into the kitchen and said, “There is a lady in our yard.” I smiled and said, “Yes, I think she is here to spend the day with her husband.” We both looked out the window together, and then Cam said, “She is on her iphone.” Sure enough the woman was looking at her iphone at this moment. “That is what wives do.” Cam said. “They use their phones.” Cam likes to rib me, and this generalisation was perfect to get my goat. “Well, that is an overstatement!” I said. Cam was being very smart. “I only see two wives, and they are both using their phones.” I get a little flabbergasted by this and furrow my brow. Then I think to myself that yes, women have to take responsibility for the clichés we form. Cam walked away and I glanced out the window once more to catch her tucking her phone into her bra. In my mind this not at all a healthy thing to do and I hope women in time stop using the bra as a place for mobile devices. It is one of those things that will be very personal, but the times I have done it, it felt so wrong, like a red warning light flashing on and off in my brain for my body. Danger, danger.
It is no secret that I am esoteric, intuitive and into metaphysic and I use this same modality of perception to sense with many of the choices I make.
As soon as the path was clear and things were no longer being thrown from above, I made a trip to the supermarket. I am fortunate to be able to shop at Wholefoods. While I would prefer a smaller co-op style organic grocers, I count my blessing cordially. The super market is one of my very favorite places to be, everything important to me in life seems to present itself in .the supermarket I am generally very talkative and a busy body when I am there, it is a social outing for me. I know a lot of the staff, and I usually see a Familiar Face or two.
One this day, one of the Familiar Faces was a man whom I became acquainted with when Maya briefly went to school. I have no idea of anything about him, other than he has a son, he has an English accent, and he dresses very dapper. He seems to be independent within employment, because I see him at Wholefoods at any hour any day. On this day, he was standing in the produce section with a very lovely cane shopping basket in his hand. I liked that he had brought his cane basket from home, it was what I considered distinct personal style. His pants were slim and well fitting and his jacket was equally so. He has a lovely head of thick short curls and he looked so nice that I felt like complimenting him. As I approached the cucumbers I said, “You always look so smart.” He smiled at me with what I am going to interpret as a slight modesty for owning is style. Then I added, to let him know he was inspiring, “I should make more effort myself!”
While I was wearing a lovely woolen sweater and jeans, my hair was not brushed, and I certainly did not look groomed. “I really should make effort” I thought reiterating the words I had spoken out loud. Then with some bravery I looked up to the mirror above that reflects the top shelf vegetables. When I saw my reflection, it was that of a tired women. Someone who needed to take care of her inner health, so that she glowed on the outside. Taking care of things on the inside, so that outwardly it reflects what is happening beneath surface. Restful natural sleep, clean water, nutritious wholesome food, and a calm mind, are the best ways to shine.
Sometimes though, these things do not feel like enough and so with a trolley full of produce I headed straight to the beauty aisle. It is an aisle of mostly pills and lotions. Way too many for my liking, but this is one of my favorite aisles because I like the employees that gravitate there. To be honest I rarely select more than shampoo and conditioner, but on this day with my reflection being so drab I was feeling motivated to explore. As I said, some of my favorite people work in this aisle, and on this day, it was the new guy. I had met the new guy the week before when I had stopped and said, “I don’t know you, are you new?” He had nodded quietly in a very reserved way, but I could tell beneath this was a very lively fellow. He was youthful, with a long beard. Small in size, and a bit gnome like. I use the word gnome as a compliment. Over and over I see iconic folklore identities in the real world, and this young man was definitely one of them. My hunch he was gnome was confirmed because when I stood there looking at the lotions, and asking him what he suggested I used for dry skin he brought out the very best in me. Everyone has their own interpretation of gnomes, but my relationship to them is that they are very smart, a little particular, can tend to be impatient with those larger and dumber than them. They like to move swiftly in their younger years, and will work hard to remain agile as they age. They are generally very knowledgeable earth-dwellers but you will only be able to access their knowing if you are willing to be deep, deep in the earth.
I am very much aware of how we each channel one another, and as I stood there by him looking for some miracle help on the shelf, I answered my own question out loud. “Well, I suppose what I really need to do is to drink more water!” He looked at me with a nod. “That is always good.” he said. I could tell then that he was in one of those awkward situations that I have found myself in before, where you are supposed to be helping someone buy something, when really you think they ought not buy anything. This can happen in your youth, as you are trying to find your way. I once had to work in a shop that sold loads and load of cheap plastic toys, in order to learn how I felt about it. I could tell this young man’s path was being strengthened by being surround by things he did not like. I was at a loss of what to purchase, and he was at a loss of what to suggest to me. A few minutes passed, and then he said. “I am more into herbalism.” It was like a little magic honesty spark between us. “Ah, I knew it!” I said to myself. Then he said the most perfect thing. “Have you ever tried coconut oil?” To this of course I replied yes, and then I told him of my concoctions. “Yes, and sometimes I mash up avocado and mix it with honey to make a face mask, but today I felt like I might like to try something else, something bought.” He stood for a moment and then he bent down and pulled out a drawer that was full of small plastic containers. He chose two and said, “You could try these samples.” I am generally one to avoid samples, when I see all those tiny plastic bottles and think of landfill it makes me a little cuckoo. On this day though since I had seen the handsome dapper man and then looked in the mirror, I was feeling a little lack luster. I held the two samples, one in either hand, and as is my way, I suddenly I blurted out. “Oh no, I am sorry, but I can’t take these. My body does not want them.” I quickly bent down and opened the drawer myself and put them back where they had come from. The young man tiled his head to his side, like he was seeing me from a different perspective. I knew he was wise and so I did not hold back. “Well you see, I like to hold these things in my hand for a second and just ask myself if they are right for me, and my hand rejected them both.” I could tell he understood what I was talking about and that I did not need to say more. Then I thanked him with a smile, and said. “Well I will go home and drink water and make something for my skin.” I had made a good impression on the gnome, which is something to be proud of because they can be hard to impress. They know so much you see.
There is an impulse inside all of us to intuitively know what is right or wrong for our bodies and souls and I tend to believe that if you are brought up to listen and honor yourself, you will always know. There is no formula of what is right for all people, but you can know what is right for you, if you are willing to ask. It has taken me a lot of body and soul work to reach this point of awareness, but for you it may be instant. Most importantly, I listen to myself. I will admit that sometimes I do not listen to myself also, but what is important is that you develop that inner sense, and ask for self guidance. When it comes to lotions and pills, it is very important to be aware. We are all both similar and different but at the end of each day, you will be the only you, and I will be the only me. You have to decide for yourself what is right and wrong for you, and I get to decide for me.
Wishing you wise choices, one day at a time.
Thank you for reading Magnesium Blue