Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Glimpse of Heaven


Last Sunday, I got a glimpse of heaven.

I got up early and fixed up all the family bikes - filled up tires, tightened brakes, replaced chains, etc. - and then my youngest six kids and I rode from Cadboro Bay, where we live, over to Oak Bay (the next bay down). It was really something to see them all lined up riding down the road, especially little four-year-old Trixta (hip-hop name) riding his little bike, his legs pumping furiously since his wheels are only like twelve inches in diameter.

We first rode down to Cadboro Bay Village and then made it up the hilly Cadboro Bay Road, crossing over on to Beach Drive through the large "Uplands" pillars. Uplands is a beautiful neighbourhood, full of big houses and manicured, landscaped lawns, and is on a small bluff overlooking the ocean (and at one point, the Oak Bay Yacht Club). Even our one mishap turned out great - T-Bone got a flat tire, and I had to call Spoiler (my brother) to come help us. We threw a rugby ball around on a small piece of grass bordering the sidewalk as we waited. Spoiler finally showed up in his big old GMC pick-up - a bizarre site in that neighbourhood - and proceeded to drive right over the curb and sidewalk toward us. We attached the aerosol tire-filler thing he brought to T-Bone's wheel, but to no avail - we finally just threw his bike in the back of the pick-up, and the other kids and I continued riding, and met up with Spoiler and T-Bone at Willows Beach. After a game of touch rugby on the grass, we all slipped down to the beach and had a rock throwing contest, and then headed up to Willows Galley, the local fish and chip shop.

Of course, my two oldest sons weren't there; they're off now with friends and girlfriends most of the time. It would have been fun if they had been, but then, they are all but out of the nest now. What I did regret was that Mommy wasn't there...but I guess a discussion of that is beyond the scope of this entry.

It has been a long time since I saw the kids as happy as I saw them on our ride. I guess it was something about all being together, and all experiencing so much pleasant sensory input: the big blue sunny sky, the popping flowers all around, the smell of the ocean and trees and blooms, the feeling of freedom on the bikes, the thrill of novelty (since we had never taken this trip before), the feeling of satisfaction at being able to overcome a challenge, the delicious fish and chips at Willows Galley...the whole experience, simple as it was, made a deep impression, and the kids have been talking about it for the last week.

In life, it is the simple pleasures which count. Being with those you care about, and who care about you, communicating with them, laughing with them, experiencing the world and each other in new ways...those are the moments which remain with me always...those are the moments I cherish most.

25 comments:

Kathy said...

Just reading your post makes me smile. I agree, time with family is the best time and creates the most wonderful memories. Ironically it's not necessarily the expensive vaction or activities that were planned in advance that the kids remember. I love just playing soccer or skatebording with the kids or hiking up the canyon as a family. These are the times create that bond and I charish them with all my heart.

June said...

Glad to see you back Tal.I spend so much time at the locations you mentioned that I feel I was on the bike ride with you.

Shaker said...

Where is mommy then?

ginamarie said...

Awesome :)

Happy Fathers Day, Tal!

Tal said...

Shaker - Mommy is, shall we say, "on a journey".

Anonymous said...

Glad to see you back Tal. What a great post for Father's Day. Sounds like you and the kids are doing well. Happy Father's Day...you deserve it.

Darren said...

Great post. I have noticed with my kids how much happier they are when they are moving around. Same goes for me.

~Jen~ said...

sounds like a near perfect day!

Rich McCue said...

Great idea Tal... sucks about the flat, but when you have that many bikes on the road, the odds of someone getting a flat go way up. Thanks for the inspiration!

Cathy said...

Do you mean your family no longer has Tracy in it? How do you manage as a single father?

rachael chatoor said...

The description is beautiful, it reminds me of how some days, sometimes, the light is just..... right, and everything looks more vivid. Nice for you all to have a day like that, it sounds like it was one to remember, your kids are lucky to have you.

June said...

Did you all go for another bike ride today?

Su-Lin said...

Lovely. There's nothing better than being with your family. Proviso: being with your family and eating ice cream. Was there ice cream?

Playback said...

Hello tal, I was wondering if you could do a blog about your time in Terrace. It would be great to hear your thoughts about my town and the new rootworx recording studios. Thanks alot for your concert and your clinic. I was able to attend the clinic and i thought it was great! Im writing songs better than ever lately! thank you so much Tal I am interested to hear your thoughts. Kyle Gray from the band Play Back

Sandie said...

*Nice* This sounds like exactly what you needed.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tal,
Good to see we agree that kids are where it's at. Gonna take mine bowling next week. Anyway, I've got a favor to request as a sort of "delayed payment" for that free "cab ride" you and Tracy got to the restaurant here in Salt Lake a few years ago (the one where she had trouble with my old SUV's tailgate, and my daughter's car seat was adjusted wrong).
Over at RFM they're insisting your old man went back to the "cult." I'm doubtful (and I know you haven't, given that you've taken the kids on a bike ride on Sunday). Any chance you could pop in just once and set the record straight? Your fans there are missing you, and no, we don't expect you back--that place can be as addicting as drugs at times--but I'd love it if you would say "Hi," and tweak a troll for old times' sake . . .
Regards,
"SL Cabbie"
P.S. Nightingale would say hi, but she's kind of the shy type . . .

indavao said...

hi... just dropping by!
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ginamarie said...

Just dropping by the say hey ~ isn't it about that time...for you to be inspired to write somethin'?

:)

iknowhowtoswim said...

simple pleasures, what it's ALL about~

smile said...

Tal,
Write something new, pleeeese.
I miss you.

S.Elisabeth said...

This post was lovely! I I stumbled across this blog and then saw your last post about Leo Dicaprio.
I agree completely about him!! He's such a brilliant actor and they overlook him I think because of his "pretty boy" thing and his dating life (with models). He does deserve an Oscar though!!

Jewelz said...

Hi Tal,

I'm slowly working my way backwards on your blog. Great post; I wish you many more days like this.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing that glimpse of heaven with all of us. Your children are so lucky to have a Daddy like you(and good thing their Uncle was close by)My heart aches for you,for the person you were missing on that near perfect day.

smile said...

I recently read the book "Plenty" and after a few chapters realized that the authors were describing the area where you live (which reminded me of this post).

Sounds like a beautiful place.

Avery Graham said...

I completely agree, we need to remember the simple pleasures in life! :) Great Blog tal.

AG