Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter weekend stuff.

Reaching out...
On Good Friday I rode my bike into town. On the bike track where it goes over a railway track I came across a couple who work in one of my chaplaincies. Because of his job I don't get to see him often. While I was in Christchurch the other week his adult son was killed in a road accident, nobody told me about it and I had just caught up on it this week. Having bumped into him by surprise when my mind was not on "being a good chaplain" I stopped, stammered and talked with them. I asked how he "was doing?" Here was a tough man. In his work he has to be tough. But as I looked at him and talked to him I could tell he was hurting like hell inside and he said as much. I recalled one of my firemen who lost his son saying of the experience, "I would not wish it on my worst enemy." It hurts when you love. I know a young couple who tried for a baby. They became pregnant, but early in the pregnancy lost the baby. They were really sad and I was sad for them. My niece had a baby girl on Thursday. The little tot is now in Auckland for heart surgery. It must be very hard on my niece and her husband and I am praying that she will be fine. I got to thinking as I rode my bike home that as soon as we extend ourselves to love we open ourselves to being hurt. We feel pain if we lose that person. We feel their pain if they are hurting. ... Why would you be a parent? Why would you love if you open up to that pain? It is still better to live and love. ... but just tonight I feel the pain of people who are hurting because they love. .. I know something of that feeling.
Bird song...
On Friday I stacked the firewood for winter in cupboards we have to keep it dry. I spent time in our backyard. It was astounding. The birdsong was all around me coming from the trees surrounding me. You could see the birds, they were little black dots in the trees, but for little dots they made a powerful noise. I am so fortunate to live where I live! On Saturday I moved rubbish and did chores, and was again in the backyard and back paddock. Two little Fantails came close and watched me dig a hole at one stage. I saw Tui in the trees with their white trim under their "chin". Of course there were a pair of Wood-pigeons flying from tree to tree. Somehow all these birds singing throughout the day help make life feel good.
Exercise report...
I am still struggling with an old age knee. My doctor says they won't do anything about it because I am not crippled enough, so I have to "manage it". Unfortunately also, since daylight saving ceased, I have not exercised during the weekdays, apart from walking to chaplaincies and around chaplaincies. Every weekend I try to exercise every day. I still hope to do a half-marathon in September, but will have to do more. I had a nice run last weekend, but my knee hurt after it. Over Easter I hope to exercise every day. On Friday I enjoyed a bike ride. Yesterday I enjoyed a walk up the mountain, including a bit of a loop up top ... about one and a half hours. Tonight I ran 9k on a beautiful calm night for running. ... tomorrow I hope to ride and on Tuesday I would like to go for a tramp. .... wait and see. When I was walking up the hill I moved aside to let a man go past. I tried to keep up with him, but I puffed and panted behind him as he strode away from me. I got to thinking, "I used to be the one people had to move aside to let past!? What's happening to me?" I will get more fit but the reality is that I am getting older and probably I have to "accept with grace" the passing of the years, and the puffing and panting. Near the top, on a stairway that had me puffing, I met a couple coming down. They had a pit bull type dog in front of them and I am sure he was looking at my calves and drooling. I put my walking stick between him and my leg... in case. The most annoying thing about them was that they were friendly. She said "Hello, how are you doing?" and he said, "You haven't got far to go now, mate!" But both comments were made in the patronising tone of voice young people reserve for old people. The type of voice that says... "You are doing OK... FOR YOUR AGE!" I bit my lip. I wanted to yell at them, "I know I am not far from the top! I have been coming up this mountain since you were in nappies! And I am doing well, thank you very much!" But I just said, "Yeah right!" and walked on feeling ten years older. They WERE just being friendly.

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