Friday, July 29, 2011

Step in Time



The edge of the world, Cape Spear, NL. North America's most easterly point and where the whales gather.


Have you ever seen the movie Mary Poppins?  My kids have a copy and it plays at our house pretty regularly.  They know all the words to all the songs and they keep me very entertained with their own versions of the songs.

My favourite is their rendition of "Step in Time."  For those unfamiliar with the movie, the chimney sweeps and Mary Poppins break into a very rousing dance routine and the lyrics go "Step in time, step in time, never need a reason, never need a rhyme."

It's a big number taking place high upon the roof tops out of sight of the rest of the city. Everybody there is breaking some sort of law or rule. The chimney sweeps are not sweeping, the children are on a roof AND out past their bedtimes and Mary Poppins herself has taken her young charges when she ought not have and to do so defied even the law of gravity!

So to me the song is more than a dance number.  It's about taking time to dance.  Even further, it's about taking time to dance outside of your regular life.  It's about breaking the rules perhaps or at the very least, breaking free from the routines and expectations of the people in your life.  Perhaps taking on a role you're not accustomed to playing in your life.  The role of YOU.

That is what I have done this past week.  I've stepped out of my life.  No reason.  No rhyme.  I left my kids in the very capable hands of their grandparents and had myself a vacation.

Am I stepping in time?  I think I've stepped in something.  Not being completely responsible for the lives of two children or, in fact, really answering to anyone for the past week has given me a chance to think, to breathe, to grow, to write, and most of all...to have fun!

My life has been at my own whim.  Feel like veering off into Petty Harbour for an hour?  Nobody to ask or check with.  Do I want to roam the hills of Cape Spear yet again?  There is nobody to say "but we've already done that."

It has been a step in time.  And in some sense it's been a step out of time.  I've planned for nothing.  It's the wind that is carrying me and my own desired.

I have walked trails I've never walked and taken time to leave those trails much to the chagrin of other hikers.  I have stopped and inhaled the berry-fresh marshlands and danced to the whale-song of humpbacks.

I've screamed in the air when I stepped into a bog and mud squirted two feet high drenching me.  And I laughed into that same air a moment later when I realised what it was!  Again my apologies to fellow hikers on the trail.

All alone?  Not entirely.  I've taken my nieces to listen to music at a coffee shop and I've had wonderful conversations with the guy at the Newfoundland Chocolate Company and curators at museums.  I've seen the Ghosts of Signal Hill and I've spent tons of time with my sister and I've had and will have some more fun with friends coming into the weekend.

It's mostly the fact that I've done what I've wanted to do on my own schedule.  I've been here and there and back again.  I've also written and recorded ideas for poetry and blog posts and even come up with an idea for a new novel.  Yes moving back here is a good idea.

As I was writing this a thought came into my mind.  I was thinking of the "step in time" song and wondering if perhaps I'd "stepped out of time" rather than "into" it. 

But it doesn't matter. None of it does.  The most important thing is I enjoyed.  I danced.  I wrote.  I dreamed.  But most of all I lived.  If I hadn't, I would have died.  Perhaps mere survival is never an option if we're to be truly happy.

Get out there.  Step in time.  You don't need a reason or a rhyme or even a vacation alone.  You just need to live your life to the fullest but if you do get the opportunity to jump outside of it for a while, do so.  Wallow in the freedom of being at your own beck and call without care for any desires but your own.

Two more days of jumping my own rope.  Just me and my notepad and the ocean.  And then I'll go back to my regularly scheduled life.

Here is a link to my little girls' rendition of  Step in Time. for email subscribers.

Embedded for the rest of you.  Well worth a play for the cuteness factor alone.








Live!  Mere survival should never be an option!
Carolyn R Parsons
 

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