Saturday, January 23, 2010
"Now! Now!" cried the Queen. "Faster! Faster!" And they went so fast that at last they seemed to skim through the air, hardly touching the ground with their feet, till suddenly, just as Alice was getting quite exhausted, they stopped, and she found herself sitting on the ground, breathless and giddy.
The Queen propped her up against a tree, and said kindly, "You may rest a little now."
Alice looked round her in great surprise. "Why, I do believe we've been under this tree the whole time! Everything's just as it was!"
"Of course it is," said the Queen, "what would you have it?"
"Well, in our country," said Alice, still panting a little, "you'd generally get to somewhere else - if you ran very fast for a long time, as we've been doing."
"A slow sort of country!" said the Queen. "Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place."
"If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!"
This has been a Red Queen week for me (Warren too, but I'm not speculating as to his thoughts about it). Looking at my calendar tells the tale: rehearsals and performances of all kinds all last weekend ending midway through Sunday evening, evening meeting Monday, United Way agency training all Tuesday morning (it's almost that time of year again), Legal Clinic that night (22 clients plus family and friends, 6 attorneys, 3+ hours of intake and counseling, 2 pre-law students from OWU doing intake, 2 plates of fresh bakes goodies, 1 attorney coordinator, 1 coffee pot, 1 pot of hot water, 1 jack of all trades(i.e., me) - do the math), small claims mediation all afternoon Thursday, Chamber dinner that night (our United Way received the Quality of Life award!), and then a long, long day yesterday that took us to Columbiana County in far eastern Ohio and back again, albeit the return trip was via Akron so we could have dinner with Warren's son, David.
That just brings us up to last night. And doesn't count the smaller moments - all the meals, laundry, swimming, walking, catching up with friends over a cup of coffee. (Along with Warren, my friends are the glue that helps hold me together when my calendar is running faster than the Red Queen.)
Today has been a catching up kind of day - finally finishing the bean soup that was started Wednesday night, baking two apple pies (just out of the oven) for our evening plans, washing the towels, working on court projects, working on Symphony projects (I often write for the Symphony). Warren is working on house projects, working on Symphony projects, and practicing. Our day today is a series of deftly woven events, interlaced with the rich smell of bean soup cooking and apple pies baking. Tomorrow holds a rehearsal and performance in Mansfield, and then the week turns over again. It is already full and ends with us heading to New York for the Midwinter Managers meeting of the League of American Orchestras and not returning until Tuesday night.
Despite the crowded schedule (and all of January has been like this), I don't feel the mind numbing rush that dogged my steps in December. That's not to say I am not exhausted at times; last night I was so worn out physically by the time we made it home that I stumbled over my thoughts and my feet more than once before finally dropping into bed.
But my spirit is not rushed and that has made all the difference.
Last night the three of us talked and laughed over huge servings of Barberton chicken at one of the local chicken house. David is funny and loquacious and so reminds me of his dad at about that same age. It was a space carved out of three busy schedules and filled with sharing and family. Tonight we'll share a meal and pie with friends and talk and laugh some more.
Alice had to run with the Red Queen in order to reach the first square of the giant chessboard that comprised Looking Glass land. She was eager to begin the game and reach the eighth square so she too could become a queen. After all, as the Red Queen promised, "in the Eighth Square we shall be Queens together, and it's all feasting and fun!"
I don't know about being a Queen, unless I am a Queen of Pies, but I do know about feasting and fun. And about friends and family.
And about making sure I don't find myself running in place so fast that I miss out on them.