My earring turned up in the washing machine. Chris found it in there, many weeks after I lost it, which was somewhat mysterious. I don’t imagine you remember that I lost an earring, a lost earring isn’t that important in the scheme of things. However, one can choose to regard such an incident as a portent of good things to come. In the same way that it seems like a bad day when you lose your earring, it can seem like a good day when you find it again. First off, I congratulated myself on not being excessively tidy and throwing the single earring away. As a little aside, Chileans have a specific word for a single thing that no longer has its pair, it is called a ‘Huacha’. There must be many socks in the world that could be named ‘Huacha’.
Immediately following the finding of my lost earring, however, my luck theory didn’t appear to be holding out. Chris and I were supposed to be driving to Christchurch together to visit my mother. However, Chris broke a tooth and the next dentist appointment in Queenstown was a month away. This did not seem very lucky but then a text came in to say he could get an appointment at 10.30am on the morning we were supposed to drive. Chris couldn’t miss the chance of an appointment 4 weeks earlier so I drove off by myself. By the time I got to Waimate I got a call from Chris saying that the dentist’s booking system didn’t work and he hadn’t actually been given the appointment, so he had stayed and had to pay for a flight to no greater benefit. Immediately after I spoke with Chris I got a message from my mother saying that her retirement village had been locked down because a gastroenteritis bug was doing the rounds. No mother visiting in Christchurch to be had.
My other plan was to go cycling in Christchurch on Tuesday morning with a great new group of women I recently met, the Wheelie Awesome Mountain Bike Girls. I was really looking forward to the ride, and had actually timed my drive on the basis of cycling Tuesday morning. Except…there was a massive southwesterly wind about to sweep up the South Island with lots of rain and cold on the Christchurch Port Hills so cycling was going to be off, rather than on. At this point, the silver cloud on the horizon isn’t so apparent, but it turned out the plan the universe had for me was to go skiing at Broken River ski field and stay with our friend Conor at Castle Hill Village.
I don’t know if you can see how big my grin is here. It is about as big as it gets – I was happy with every fibre of my being today. I loved everything about where I was and what I was doing. I loved the view, the mountains, the snow, all the people who I hadn’t seen for 7 years (Broken River ski field is a very social place and a community in which we spent a considerable amount of time skiing until we left Christchurch in 2013). I loved the action of skiing – there are days when physical activity works as it should, and this was one of them. The found earring was doing its thing.
I don’t know about you, but there are quite a lot of days at the moment that the state of the world gets me down at present. I say unpopular things like, “I am really glad I made the most of the 1990s, the 2000s and 2010s because I think that those were likely the best years of my adult life and the next ones might be looking quite grim”. It might be optimal if I could forget about how the New Zealand’s unemployment rates could be about to spiral upwards, stock markets could be hyperinflating, the USA and China would like to have a war…but I can’t control my brain to stay completely away from such thoughts. However, I can get my brain to settle down when I do something I love. When you are skiing (or playing guitar, or woodworking, or mountain biking, or surfing…) you can’t think about anything else at the same time.
I love my phone and the internet too, because the ability to find anything out anywhere is just amazing. The ability to communicate with anyone, anywhere, anytime is quite amazing as well. Thankfully, gone are the days when you sent an aerogramme home every week while travelling overseas. However, phones and associated social media are one of the worst culprits for cutting through your thoughts and messing up your mental state. An interesting phenomenon I have been noticing lately is that I am leaving my phone behind when I go places. And even if I have my phone I am not wanting to check it. I think the universe (or my own brain?) might be sending me a message that I am not yet paying proper attention to. Perhaps I will wait until I lose another earring.