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Friday, January 23, 2009

Reflections from the Harbour

Careful of my heeled boots, I walked on the balls of my feet down the metal gangway. I treaded along on my toes till I reached the base of the floating pier. The cold dark water swirled back on forth underneath the cement and wood in the relaxed ebb and flow of the daily tide. Standing there, I took in my surroundings.

I love Coal Harbour. This lovely place where the hustle and bustle of the downtown core meets the serene gathering of green space and walking paths. This port city I call home enchants me. I love watching the cargo ships coming and going, and the float planes landing and taking off. The Seabuses, our trusty catamarans, ferry transit-goers from North Vancouver to Downtown Vancouver and vice-versa, the continual exchange just another near-constant rhythm in the life of this city.

Except I couldn't see them today. The fog (ever present these days) was nestled snugly outside the edge of downtown obscuring the North Shore and much of Stanley Park. I stood there with the sky above lightly overcast but bright, the sun trying it's best to break through fully. It was cold; hovering around zero degrees Celsius. My breath easily visible in the air. My cheeks chilled and flushed; hands buried deep in the pockets of my down filled parka. Shivering slightly, I drew my hood over my head and just stood there warm and content to observe.

I walk the Seawall all the time. Almost everyday on my lunch hour if I can. The power walk refreshes me and gives me that much needed energy to get me though the afternoon. Most days, I make the trek to the Westin Bayshore and back; a three kilometre loop I usually walk in 30-40 minutes. Long legs make for a long quick strides. Today, though, I felt this great urge to stop on the pier. It's a tie-up area for boats in the harbour. It's often empty unless it's the middle of the summer. Today was no exception, as I stood there alone with my thoughts. All alone except for the cormorants who are always sitting on the wooden pilings, sleek black sentinels guarding the harbour and its residents.

I've been trying to work out why I felt the need to stop today. What was it about the pier that drew me to it? The sight of the city and mountains engulfed in fog wasn't depressing in the way it had been last week, but rather, it calmed me. I felt something but I wasn't melancholy or sad. I'm not sure how to describe it. Maybe I'm just reacting to my stupid neck injury and feeling sorry for myself. After an odd and restless sleep, I woke up yesterday and could barely move my head without insane pain. I'm practically immobilized from the top of my spine to the bottom of my left shoulder blade. The pain has been so much that I'm near tears if I'm not hopped up on extra-strength Tylenol. Yesterday, I managed to see one of the massage therapists at the centre I go to. He worked for an hour on my back, neck, and hips. Basically, I'm stuck like this for another couple of days although I should start feeling better hopefully tomorrow. And what did I exactly do, you might ask? Well, it seems that in my neck, one of the tiny joints that run along our spine has slipped out of place a bit. Yeah, ouch. Because that means all the supporting ligaments and muscles are strained trying to hold up my head and keep my shoulder and arm moving. <Sigh> So I have to sit with perfect posture and not look down in order to keep my head perfectly balanced on my shoulders, or else it hurts. I feel like I should be wearing a neck brace and football shoulder pads. Interesting image, no?

Suffice to say that while the pain will diminish (hopefully very soon), it's left me in this peculiar mood. This injury certainly isn't going to aid in my attempt to get pregnant this cycle. And maybe that's it right there. I'm not even halfway through my cycle and I've already given up on it. Why? It isn't like me. Where's the cheerful optimist with her pom-poms believing in the best of all possibilities? Where did my enthusiasm go? I feel kind of blah about a lot of things right now. Trying to conceive a child shouldn't be one of them. But then again, 9 cycles and 2 pregnancies later and I feel like I'm still back where I started from: trying to conceive and carry a child.

So here I am, trying to reconcile where I've been with this current feeling of ambivalence. There's a part of me that wants to say that it's doesn't bug me, but it does. It's not me. I am never ambivalent. I feel things, one way or another. But right now I feel numb.

I walked the rest of the pier and back up the other gangway, again on the balls of my feet. The bitter winter wind slapping the few areas of exposed skin. I walked back up to the Seawall and kept walking. It was the only thing left to do.

Sometimes, the days where we feel the most defeated are the days we have to just keep putting one foot in front of the other and hope that we magically find our way to the place we were headed.

So here I am, still walking. I'm tired and in pain, but I'm walking...

11 comments:

Cara said...

Gorgeous post. That's it girl- keeping walking - right through that nasty fog that will not seems to leave your area!

I'd be here anyway...but ILCW

notsofertilemyrtle said...

You are a very talented writer! I saved this post for the next time I'm feeling down. . .

Happy ICLW!

areyoukiddingme said...

Very nice...you captured the moment very elegantly in your words.

I'm sorry to hear that you're in pain, and I hope you're feeling better in a couple days.

Melissa said...

I hope you feel better soon, that sounds awful to be so particular about how you move your head/neck/shoulder. ((HUGS))

Also, i loved that you ended with optimism. :) You did keep going, you will keep putting your foot in front of the other...

Best of luck this cycle!

Soralis said...

Lovely post. Take care and good luck.

Soralis said...

oh ya... here from ICLW

Cassandra said...

Ack, hope your spine realigns soon! Last year one of my vertebrae got shifted about a centimeter to the side... it was horrible, and soooo weird.

I have been to your fine city a couple of times, but I spent much more time around False Creek than Stanley Park. I can picture them both well, though.

Happy ICLW!

awakeintheworld said...

Beautiful post. Keep walking and I'll try to remember to do the same. I hope your spine gets better soon.

~Jess said...

Awesomely written! I hope your pain goes away quickly. Keep plugging along, keep walking....

ICLW

Valerie said...

That was a beautiful post. I could clearly see the dock and the fog in my mind. I hope you are feeling better soon.

ICLW

Liddy said...

Absolutely gorgeous post. Feel better soon.

Thanks for the comment on my blog.

Here from ICLW...No. 3
The Unfair Struggle (male-factor IF, friendship, life on the ice)