It wasn’t until I noticed the peacock that I completely grasped the sensation, although the turkey had been a clue, the Elvis burger another. It was a good day.
It started the previous day actually when the postman delivered a letter from Jane Norman. It consisted of two garments I had ordered just two days previously. The fast service made me smile, the fact that the garments fit perfectly and looked great made me giggle with joy. It doesn’t always take much.
The next morning I woke up to waffles and presents (which is better than flowers and candy). Peanut butter and bananas turned out to be the theme of the day but of course the ice-cream made the waffles.
Breaking into packages with a 2,5 year old is great fun. They appreciate the fuzz, the buzz and the presents even if it’s not for them. And when I’d had the chance to eat till my stomach protested and play with the presents we decided to take a trip.
So we packed a big bag with a quilt, a towel, extra clothes for the little girl, diapers and wet wipes, toilet paper, something to drink and snack on and all other essentials a small family needs for a day away.
With mixed oldies playing on the car stereo we turned the car southward. Elvis with his rock around the clock and his demands for a little more action cheered us on and we headed for the beach.
The houses looked like giant suburban villa’s that had one day decided to stand up on four sturdy legs and wander down south towards nowhere where they settled by the beach. They looked like they had just started to doze of again after the big promenade and the people living in the houses looked like surprised but happy ants crawling out of their holes.
We walked past the houses on a stony, and what seemed like a deserted, road. It was, of course, all but deserted. The road then turned into a sandy pathway made of wood and took us over a sandy hill with curious trees spread out making the place cozy but not overly crowded.
And then I walked over the hill and saw the sun bathing its rays in the ocean and the off-white sand. Breathless (because of the view and not the short walk up a hill) I walked down again and we picked a place near the water. The two (and a half) year old shed her clothes and started running in circles in the sand, dipped her toes in the water too but decided that despite the sun it was too cold to jump in.
I took pictures and listened to the waves. The peace and quiet near the ocean always puts people in touch with something within us. It relaxes us to get away from the clutter that covers our everyday brain. And how soothing it was to sit there and get away from that noise, that noise that you can’t hear but fills your entire life if you’re not careful. White noise.
When it was time to move on the car greeted us with Edith Piaf declaring that she regretted nothing, a notion many envy I’m sure. We drove on southwards to a little, big city where we parked the car and decided to see if anything eatable was to be found there.
Tusen 2 looked cozy enough and the weather invited us to sit outside which was perfect.
And when I saw the menu another clue stared me right in the face. The Elvis burger with bacon, peanut butter, bananas and sauce and fries on the side. Can it be any better than that?
So I ate an Elvis burger and enjoyed a little more conversation. And when we finished we payed and decided to take a walk in the nearby park.
The first thing I noticed was a rooster and a couple of chickens mucking about. It surprised me mildly. “Hey there are chickens!” I believe I exclaimed. And we walked on. A nice small park with lots of grass and old trees in between and here and there where strange looking tiny beings minding their own business.
It was cute.
And then I saw the turkeys. Big, mean looking but not too intrusive.
“Huh?” I believe I exclaimed before showing my daughter the strange birds, making sure she didn’t go too close to the giants.
I didn’t think too much about it but thought it was nice that the park was filled with different birds and not the same old, same old – doves, ducks, geese and sea gulls (the kind of birds we have in our parks around here).
Then it was standing right in front of me. Or He might have pointed it out to me. I’m not sure which but all of a sudden it was standing there. And so was I.
The Murakami bird. The peacock.
The peacock may not be a bird particular to Murakami’s works but it gave me that sensation. You know the one? If you’ve read Murakami you do. The sensation that you’ve suddenly tumbled out of ordinary everyday life and into another world. A world that is more colorful, more exciting and perhaps a little bit more frightening.
A bird of transition, of remembrance. Once upon a time (and mayhaps still?) the peacock was a symbol for immortality.
And on that day it felt alright. All the fears developed during dark, cold and sleepless night were shed and there I stood. In front of that bird thinking ‘Death, it’s not such a big deal, age it’s not such a big deal. Life is.’
And we walked out of the park. And we bought cake. And we had company. And in the evening when everybody was gone and the 2,5 year old was fast asleep I ate a real ice-cream. The kind I haven’t eaten for more than two years. A Tiramisu kind. And it wasn’t at all as good as I had thought it would be but the day was great. Much better than I had hoped or wished for.
That’s what it’s like turning thirty-nine.
I just hope I will be as positive next year.