My husband Damon is one of those rare people who seem to genuinely enjoy everyone and everything. He once told me he’d love to be an astronaut, because it’s ‘cool’, and also a bus driver, because it would be ‘fascinating to talk to so many different people every day’. There really is no person or job too demeaning or mundane or just downright ridiculous to turn Damon off. He tries everything, eats everything, and dabbles in everything – whether it’s deep-frying egg bombs, learning Norwegian, playing the banjo, or pruning bonsai trees.
I, on the other hand, can’t identify much I like to do other than soak in the tub. This morning I was lying in bed, contemplating what my Saturday might hold other than just that, when Damon burst in, two coffee cups in hand. I sat up and plumped the pillows excitedly. We’d have a leisurely, adult English breakfast together. Lovely!
Damon had other ideas. He immediately turned on the tv to You Tube and typed in ‘French horn symphonic excerpts’. He then watched, fascinated, as members of the Berlin Philharmonic played and verbally dissected classical horn passages. Ugh! Not my cup of tea, to be sure! But this love of all things makes Damon who he is.
So I lay there and tried to drown out the lecture on ‘horn phrasing’ by identifying what key words I would type into YouTube. And what I came up with was – ‘Vicar Doing Cart-wheel after Will & Kate’s wedding’.
Now here was a soul I could relate to. I made a new entry on my mental bucket list – Cart-wheel at Westminster Abbey.
You see, my bucket list only contains cartwheels. To be performed, by me, in various places around the world. So far I have two cartwheels of historical magnitude ticked off.
It all started two years ago when Damon and I took our two boys to Washington D.C. for a short visit. We visited Mt. Vernon, home of George Washington, where Damon walked around completely fascinated by the gardens and how many vegetables Washington was able to grow right in his own backyard (with a lot of help, of course). I wandered the estate entranced by a lone sheep that had escaped its wooden enclosure and was happily chewing its way across the back lawn towards the Potomac. But my boys? They walked with heads down, hands shoved into their jeans, not taking in a thing, merely listening to whatever noise was seeping from their ear buds into their mushy, moody brains.
Their apathy drove me crazy! Rows of tourists, my boys among them, sat lost in a cyber world while they rocked in identical white rockers along Washington’s stately and scenic back piazza. I had to do something to shock my boys out of this ‘other’ world, back into the beauty and novelty of our own. Without thinking, I did a cart-wheel. Right there above the Potomac. And Damon snapped a picture.
It’s my favorite picture of me, ever. My cart-wheel is not particularly elegant or athletic and my stomach fat rolls out of my shorts, but I love the picture, regardless.
Last summer I attempted another cart-wheel in Seattle, in front of the Space Needle. That is when my bucket list was born. Because I truly don’t adore much. But I do revel in beauty and yearn for novelty. And if I can leave my children with a lasting impression of me, I hope it’s a visual collage of me cart-wheeling around the world, always facing the wrong way, yet still seeking beauty in a way that’s novel. That’s all me.