Sunday, July 25, 2010

Farewell to Lance, vive le Tour, and chillin

Today was the end of another Tour de France. It was the end of the era of Lance. It was a great tour, epic as all, but sad now that the greatness of one has faded, while others’ are blooming in the wings.

The ability to sit in my living room and to be able to watch such an extraordinary event is amazing to me and I do thank the powers that be that have brought the race to me for years, in such eloquence and beauty, truly epic battles of humans pushing their bodies and bicycles to unreal levels against backdrops of the grandeur of the ancient and modern France. I will miss the magic that Lance always brought to the stage, his uncanny ability to raise his level to the highest on the road, against the odds, and made it seem fun, a game, and shrouded in magic done by a man with super human gifts.

I first learned of the Tour back in high school when my brothers were set loose in France to do the youth hostile, find your way thru Europe thing, that my parents felt was right for boys, but certainly not for girls, especially me. They had great tales of their adventures there, I am sure some were left out, but they brought me a jersey with strange pockets on the back of it, and lettering of a French company who was the sponsor of the team then, and who still sponsors one. They told me of seeing the race in one of the smaller towns on Bastille day, and how huge of a spectacle it was then, for the local French spectators.

Now le Tour has become so huge, world wide, watched by millions. It has spurred so many to get off their sofas and ride bikes again, in their adulthood, visions of Lance running their brains as they peddle along clearing the sludge from their veins and lungs, my self included. It has been a part of July that I have treasured for many years and I hope that I can find another champion to admire, not just for the bike riding ability, but also for the strength of character that Lance brought to the world of cycling. I will miss him and all he brought to the game, and wish him well in his new endeavors athletically and in his mission on cancer.

With the end of the Tour leaves the last week of July, hot, humid, and floundering in mid summer’s purgatory. This is my least favorite month, forgetting of course the one when I was moaning about the cold back in January. There is little that can be done physically outside now unless one has constant shade, a breeze, and maybe has no clothes on, and is in water up to the eyeballs. The horses spend the day in the stalls, the doors are now left open to let them come and go out to the pasture, faces in the fans, nostrils flared with deep breaths, veins protruding, trying in vain to cool themselves. My riding them is regulated to maybe 30 minutes of mostly walking until we are both so drenched and heat stroke is eminent.

The grass is the only living thing thriving in this climatic madness, growing in bursts with each ray of sun and any drop of moisture, lunging taller with each run of the mower, as tho possessed with a knowledge that soon, relatively speaking, will come cooler days and its growing season will fade. Right now the mower is at the shop at Mosley’s store for Tony to give it some much needed tlc, and the grass has responded to this lapse by tripling its growing ability to needing a tractor and bushhog to whittle it back down, and maybe bale it.

Time moves along and the seasons will change, but patience is needed and used in the mean while. The dogs are masters of this mind set and seem totally content to adapt. Jack spends his days under the sofa in the tack room, Heidi is under the piano, Memphis has her spot under a shrub by the back door, and Marley is under the sofa. Dogs just don’t use up the energy I do wanting things to hurry up or slow down. I admire this ability and I really think theirs’ is a more pleasant way to exist, and perhaps theirs’ is the higher plane in the incarnation ladder. How many dogs do you know of that have heart attacks and stress related disease, psychologists on call, and worry that their life savings have just been obliterated by a housing boom catastrophic, global warming, and world wide economic chaos? My dogs don’t.

This Sunday night will mark the passing of two full moons since the birth of the foal, Fandango. Gone is the awkward baby. Now he is a little man, solid, tough, and covered with scratches from his daily adventures in discovering the world beyond his mother’s skirt. He is inquisitive and bold. He is also very fond of a good scratch from obliging finger nails on his neck and especially the belly. For the belly rub he will bow way down, neck and face pressed to the ground, front legs out in front and the upper lip pushed out as far as he can, obviously totally transfixed by the experience and pleasure. So of course my finger nails are perpetually filthy as I oblige him this treatment, and I laugh every time.

Today is a Sunday, my new Saturday, since gallery life began. Things have been busy and cruising along but I just realized I had no idea what day it was when I just made an appointment by phone with my veterinarian, and was going to put it on the calendar but I had no idea where to write. Wow. Maybe I have become one with my dogs’ attitude. For today, whatever day it is, I will chill with them, say a fond farewell to Lance and le Tour, let the grass grow,  watch the humidity condense and drip down the windows, and perhaps make something cool to drink with ice and a shaker.

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