Ball up


It’s starting to get cooler now and the beautiful cycle of seasons continue to reveal itself in its wonderful splendour. The warmer days are ebbing away and the days are noticeably shorter now.

So yesterday arvo, after an elusive start, the sun came out and warmed up the parks very nicely as Tress and I took the little guy for his walk. It was wonderful to see him bouncing around, trotting and sniffing as he followed us in our walks through first the oval and then to the surrounding areas.

I was reflecting on how we’re in a good place now, if we were focusing on achieving some form of nirvana, in the blissful sense. Our busy-ness is centred on basic life stuff and what please us. We’d work, rest, find some recreational activities that suit our preferences for peace and quiet (generally) and avoid hard work unless it’s necessary. My hard work now comprise putting in a full day’s work each week day in the hip and raw neighbourhood of South Melbourne. I’d read on my commute, plug in headphones for my arvo walk and otherwise spend the rest of each day in my office in the fringe of the CBD. The hard work now is mainly in the sense of ploughing through the largely unsexy labour of managing the legal risks of a struggling and disliked enterprise. Tress has probably a lesser challenge in that regard but from our chats each day, the “heads down bums up” approach applies equally for her as for me.

I guess the reflection is a result of Peter speaking about “God at work” in St Alf’s yesterday. He talked about that 3 years ago, when I was asking impatient questions about my work, when I was in Canberra. This time around, I am much less restless and I wonder if my wrestle between wanting to do more for God and seeking a more settled, predictable and comfortable lifestyle is more a sign of my tendencies to keep looking up from the steps in front of me, or from some other impulse, long rationalised away, to step out into a more direct mode of serving.

When we came back from our walk and I was cooking the week’s lunches, being busy with an activity I enjoyed dialled down the reflection and dialled up the living. Later in the evening as Tress and I sat down to rest up to finish the weekend, I tried, unsuccessfully, to shoehorn the line in Lennon’s song, “Beautiful Boy” to make it describe what’s happening in my head. “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans” doesn’t quite cut it when I’m not actually making any plans at all, other than a daily plan of ensuring I turn up for work.

Life happens anyway. For the winter/cooler months, that means footy and more coffee. The Hawks were in Tassie and chalked up a messy win over the Saints. We watched the game on tele at home on Sat night, after spending the morning on my MX5, which had to go into the workshop for some tyre works. Later that arvo Tress and I worked the garden and then I cooked a warming pork rib congee for both of us. Yesterday while I cooked the week’s lunches, we had on tele, the competitive game between the reigning premiers and the Pies. Tigers romped home in the last quarter (as did the Hawks against the Saints) after a feisty tussle.
Maybe all I need worry about is contesting the next ball or the next kick. Footy simplifies life that way. One game at a time may be a tired cliché but it can be a useful guide to let one do the carpe diem thing. Maybe I’d just try and master that.

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