Category Archives: Haibun

a Big covid day ~ Daily Moments ~ Haibun Apr 8 2021

Today was the big day!! Yep, my daughter was kind enough to take time off her busy work day to pick me up and drive me to get my first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.  It’s done!  I feel fine and so grateful it is over…thankful to my daughter and every person working or volunteering in this project.

Okay, that is now but last night I was worried.  I had a sore throat for the past two days and a sinus headache last night.  I have chronic rhinitis and some allergies so all this is NORMAL but when you are getting an important vaccine, your mind plays tricks on you…especially if you are a worry wart.

So I got up at 4am and called the health line and the nurse said I should be fine. I mentioned that I heard you are not supposed to take Tylenol the morning of the vaccination and asked if I could take Advil…she had not heard about this but mentioned that Advil has more side effects and did not recommend it.  I took care of my throat and sinuses with salt and a good rinse a few times, then honey/lemon drops. Yeah, that worked!   I know I was being silly but the mind does what the mind wants sometimes.

By the time I got to the centre which is an old Loblaws (grocer) building, I walked in the building and waited my turn at the gate.  There were 5 lines.  I never saw so many old people in one spot….haha, yeah, it was like looking at me, times 500.  There were more single people than couples.  I mention this only because a couple told me a few weeks ago how they were shocked about this.  I had never really noticed that. Of course it depends where you are in your own life. 

As I waited at the glass door for my turn to get through the glass door and register, I saw all the stations, and rows and rows of people…my heart started pounded, my throat tightened and I struggled to breathe. The more I paid attention to what was going on in my body, the harder it was to breathe.  I quickly scolded myself…telling myself, “Okay, stop it! Now count 5 things you can see…keep looking at what you can actually see!!”  I never got to what I hear or smell…just grounding myself with instructions to myself to articulate in my mind each item I could see and my breathing returned.  Nothing like trying to practice what you preach…and it works!

As I entered, I was told to remove my mask and with cooking thongs, the person gave me a new surgical mask.  Then I was told to get in the line and follow.  I was relieved to see there were markers that were 2 metres apart.  The couple behind me kept moving closer…I looked over my shoulder a few times and they got the message…well, okay, the last time I did look, I gave them “the Mother Look”.   Haha, I think the man got it and told his partner.  I realize when you are with another person, chatting, you can lose track of the distancing.  But let’s face it, we still have to be careful, and I think I will remain a bit strict in that area for a long time to come. 

One of my pet peeves pre-pandemic times are people who hover too close to you standing in line especially at the cash register when I am paying. It really irks me!  I would turn my back to them in the past…now I have found the courage to say, “Could you back up please” and if they stay put, I will add, “Back up! have a little respect for others. My space is also protecting you.”  I guess this is one thing the pandemic has taught me, to assert myself and when that doesn’t work…be a bit little aggressive. Before I would sigh out of frustration or once on my own, cry and be sad that there are some people who just don’t care about others. 

I realize that is a generalization and that some are just so covid fatigued, apathy has instilled and depression…so I know I need to be aware of that when asking to respect the 2-metre space.

By the time I got to register for the actual vaccine, I asked the gentleman which one was I getting and he ticked off “Pfizer”…yay!!  then I moved on to another person to answer questions about my health etc an in no time I was sitting at the station.  A lovely lady introduced herself giving me her name and profession…she is a pharmacist. I asked her questions I was concerned about and she was patient and did not rush me off.  Then I moved on to the section to sit and wait for 15 minutes. During that time a gentleman came over to ask for my vaccination“receipt” and added the date of my next vaccination in July…and voilà! As I waited the 15 minutes, my daughter texted me to ask if I was ok. I love her so much for caring and bringing me here and waiting.  I know she is very busy with her work as a manager and teenage boys, but she did not complain.  I texted her to tell her I was going out to wait and the sun was glorious!  Many people were sitting waiting for their rides and the man next to me had pulled down his mask and was coughing…hmmm, not too bright…so I moseyed on away from him a good 20 feet!

I feel so fortunate having adult children who care…taking time away from their busy schedule to drive Mom around for something like this.  However, I do look forward to my 2nd dose so I can jump on the bus, rent a car and get around…drop by to visit them rather than they coming to pick me up.  Covid has aged my habits by a good 15 years, meaning, no longer driving (since I do not own a vehicle) and afraid to take public transit to get around and taking the bus to the car rental place.  I say aged because I know my kids worry about me due to my lack of mobility as well for my health. 

I have spasms of weeping for a few seconds most days worrying about our future but they are short lived.  I can talk myself out of negativity.  Talking to a few friends and of course family and virtual chats with my grand-daughter uplifts me all the time.  I find myself closer in many ways to my children and have grown even closer to my friend/soul sister 650 kms away.  It IS so important to connect with a few people who you can laugh, bitch, cry and laugh with, at the drop of a hat.

I have indulged in too much screen time but watching so many medical shows that are American, I feel so fortunate to be living in a country where we all pitch in to pay that little extra on our paycheques so we can benefit with free health care no matter who you are.  Sure a few private clinics have surfaced due to the high demand but people who have insurance and/or can afford this …fine.  I know I can walk into a hospital and not worry about being charged anything except for a private room maybe but other than that, I do not have to put off getting medical attention because I don’t have a better insurance coverage or am not wealthy.  I never had to wait until I was 65 in order to get any  kind of health coverage.  So, yeah, I feel blessed living here.

I am thankful I still can work part time from home, eat well, (well, maybe too much these days) and live in a comfortable condo with all the amenities I need in walking distance.

I can’t wait for things to open up so I can slowly prepare for retirement…to explore more passions where I can volunteer…maybe find one or two places for diversity.  I am not ready to stop until I know I can stay active.

plants forming buds
others are late bloomers
still… feel the movement
life is slowly awakening
beauty once again

© tournesol ‘2021-04-08

wishful thinking or curse? (haibun)

Wishful thinking or curse?

Are there times in your life you felt that years were passing you by and you just wished it would slow down?  Ah yes, I too remember those days.

Wishing time
To stop for a while
So you can catch up

Watch out!
Be careful what you wish for
Corona reruns

© Tournesol ‘2021-03-09

flowers for valentine? ( haibun) Daily Moments Feb 14/2021

The earth has been diseased for decades and now for over a year, the world is still held hostage by a virus that has no mercy and gets stronger over time. Humans are at war with a trillion drones hiding in wait…yet, they are invisible! And so we walk around with the only protective gear possible even in this high tech era that we live.

Social distancing
Wearing a mask
Washing your hands

Social distancing
Preferably
STAY HOME

Wearing a mask
When you can’t social distance
Forget the lipstick

Washing your hands
BEFORE TOUCHING ANYTHING!

Scientists working tirelessly to give humans ammunition but it’s a slow,process to gear every human..

In the meantime, is nature really healing? I mean aside from seeing a bluer sky, is it really? When things get safer, how many humans will revert to old, damaging patterns? This “time out” is perhaps an opportunity for humans to change. Here is one way to hear from a long time environmentalist David Suzuki 

A bud
Struggling to blossom
Needing air and water

A bud is just a bud is just a possibility …

© Tournesol’2021-02-14

Staying safe inside ~ troibun

Stats read 896 positive cases today! Families are cycling; couples are walking hand in hand; can’t see the smiles of solo walkers.

Sunny skies
Autumn breeze
summer’s hanging on

Sunny skies
Keep on taunting me
But I’m safe inside

Autumn breeze
Swaying branches
Wave at me

Summer’s hanging on
Knock knock knocking at my door
can’t catch me in here

© Tournesol ’20-09-27

the lotus (haibun)

(c) Clr’2020

I just love the story of how a lotus starts off.  Such a beautiful flower, appearing so delicate and yet it is so resilient.  This flower grows in ponds and lakes where water does not move much, hence it sprouts first under water in mud and murky water. Just as humans go through life facing loss, sadness, death, and dark moments, hopefully we become stronger and our mind is awakened, acquiring wisdom.  The lotus stems become stronger, forming a bud that pushes its way towards the light, above water and only then, free of dirt and mud, opens one petal at a time …just as humans open up to spiritual growth.  How fascinating!

In Buddhism the bud of the lotus represents potential. We have the potential to spiritual growth  and  awakening,  and enlightenment. As the lotus flower emerges from the water clean, this represents purity of body, speech, and mind…an awakened mind.

Lotus
Lotus – Wikipedia

 

murky waters breed
good and grueling times, and then
a lotus blossoms

© tournesol ‘2020-09-23

This haibun is honouring a dear friend and colleague who celebrates almost 3 decades helping youths through the most difficult times one could not imagine. Happy Anniversary, dear Lotus.

change ~ haibun ~ Daily Moments September 1 2020

(c)Clr’16

 

The grey haired lady walks her dog at the same time after eight this morning, one hand on the dog’s leash, the other leaning on her cane. I look across the street and the elderly couple are not up yet…the patio blinds are still shut…soon it will open and the couple will sit outside to smoke their morning cigarette with their cuppa.

It’s different today. At six I could hear so many cars and a few busses ride down our boulevard. At three in the afternoon I see a yellow school bus stop in front of my building. A teenager with a heavy backpack, still wearing his mask, walks alone to his condo. Within an hour, there are so many people walking their dogs…ah, yes, many are back in school and back working outside the home. No wonder everyone is out at the same time…I’d better not go out at this time…not yet.

It is life back to normal…or is it normal? I decide I will go out to mail a parcel tomorrow when there are less people I might bump into. Yes, I have an idea of the time slots where I may be free from wearing my ask outside walking to the pharmacy. I don’t mind wearing my mask outdoors as well as indoors but I have to walk so much slower when I wear it outside but if I must, I shall. Maybe during lunchtime I will walk to mail my parcel. Yeah, that’s a great idea. Fifteen minutes one way and fifteen to come back. Great idea!! it will be healthy for me since I am indoors so much listening to people in distress.

Now I wonder how my grandsons are feeling…what was their day like in high school? What was the bus ride like? Are all the children abiding by the rules? What is it like during their lunch hour…such a sad reality they must live.

My son is a teacher and today children are starting back to school for the first day; from kindergarten to grade six…only the Grade 5 and 6 have to wear masks. I wonder what that is like for the children…for the teachers. How are the parents preparing their children so they are not freaked out? Life is back to normal…yeah, right (shaking my head in dismay). What have I to complain about, sitting in the comfort of my home?

unremitting change
no need to feel discomfort
caterpillar waits

© tournesol ‘2020/09/01

Change (Troibun) Daily Moments August 1 2020


August always makes me feel like summer is over. Remember that feeling way back in the 1960’s when this time of month was much cooler than what we are experiencing now? Do you remember aro

und mid-August there seemed to have lots of winds and cloudy skies?
Sitting quietly, I allow my mind to drift to a time camping at Isle la Motte, Vermont. There were hardly any campers during the week and the people living in the area who had children my age were few. But there was this girl who was already a genuine teenager who hung around with me!. She was thirteen and she would bring me to the centre of the campground where there was a rotunda. Many youths hung out there when it rained and parents wanted some peace and quiet for a few hours.

The small campground was a bit like a huge family. All the children of all ages sort of got along like siblings and cousins; the parents sort of got along with each other until a few drank too much around the campfire around mid-summer but that never affected the children. No, we steered away from grown-ups as much as possible except for chores like lugging a five gallon container of water and doing the dishes. Boy that red plastic container was heavy! And I was only 11! We would take turns. Thankfully my sister would lug it most of the way…she was so strong!

I remember Tina trying to teach me the rock ‘n roll. She seemed to have two extra steps but, for some reason, it made it easier for me to do it “her” way. I now had something I could practice back home with my sister. She was already an amazing dancer. She must have it in her genes just like Mom and Dad.

Saturday nights the rotunda was lit up and if it was a clear night a wooden platform was set up next to it for people to dance. They played a lot of old fogies’ music like stuff that Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers would dance to. Haha! So teens and children either watched the adult, went to the beach with their friends or listened to Beatles records at their tent. Yes, we did have electricity.

I used to love hiding behind a tree and admire my parents dance. They actually DID look like those romantic musicals. My mom was not tall and she would just float on her tip toes never missing a step. That was probably the only time they both looked happy. Maybe that’s why I like to always remember those moments.

By mid-August we used to get the “back to school” blues. Don’t get me wrong now. I actually liked school and learning. Yeah, I was a bit of a geek…just a bit. But getting up early in the morning was the tough part. Actually, I dreaded going back to school that year because my sister was going into high school and I did not know if I would have many friends. There were some mean girls in the grade between my sister and me (she was two years older ) who were pretty jealous of her. My sister was kind to everyone and well, that make her very popular, I guess. I think some classmates were only nice to me because of my sister…now I dreaded going back to school and being alone to fend for myself. I did not like fighting. Well, with my sister I did now and then but that’s what sisters ARE supposed to do, right?

Yes, August always brings back those memories of grief and loss… transitioning. I certainly don’t feel that way these days. My goodness we still have wonderful weather and it’s warm until the end of September now. I actually look forward to autumn with all the colours. Although, my Mother’s Day flowery arrangement is getting thinner now…

Slowing down
gracefully
with age

slowing down
fewer bursts of colours
fallen petals

gracefully
bending
rustling leaves

with age
settling mindfully
beauties with time

© Tournesol ‘2020/08/01

smiling sky (haibun) daily moments July 30 2020

(c) Clr ‘2020/7/30

 

C R A C K!    B O O M!
Heart does a summersault
Heavens aglow

It was hard to settle the heart and she could not help but wonder, looking out at the dark grey sky how do people survive each day, who face darkness and sounds of gunfire and explosions? How naïve she feels…how blessed in her ignorance.

Peaceful day
One must count
Each blessing

One, two, three layers
Forming a halo
of colours

After an hour of thunder and rain, she steps out to see the sky smile at her

Semi circle
Painting the sky
with hope

© tournesol ‘2020/07/30