Poem: Rolling in the grass #NaPoWriMo 24

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Flinging open the patio door

A flash of fur

Asleep no more

Head and back and ears and taily

Arms and legs and nose and belly

Every part must get a rub

The lawn is better than a tub

After napping all morning

And sitting on my ass

I shake off being lonely

By rolling in the grass

Kick and squirm, arch and wriggle

Others watching may start to giggle

Your derision is unfounded

Every part of me is grounded

Instead of meditating on your ass

You could be like me

Rolling in the grass

.

.

About the poem:

My dog sittee was phenomenal at doing a minute-long roll in the grass when I let him out! I love teaching the technique of lying on the grass to get instantly grounded, when anxiety strikes. Who knew, ZingZing is a master!

I can’t remember why

I was on my way somewhere
But I can’t remember why
I was worried about some detail
But now I see only sky
I think I have a deadline
But now I feel alive
Lying on my back
Listening to the leaves
Should I go back?
Should I leave?
I think I should
But I can’t remember why

A Real Picnic

Grass? What? Really? Where?

…was my friend’s incredulous response when we told them we’d gone on a picnic, and sat on the grass eating lunch.

King Abdulaziz Historical Center is an oasis in the city.

It made for a perfect ‘Sunday afternoon’ (okay, it was actually Friday, but the second day of our weekend). We ate hummus, babaganoush, tabouleh, Arabic-style tuna salad (peppers and lemons), and spiced fava beans.  We didn’t have a proper picnic mat or blanket. One friend said, “My abaya is my picnic mat.” aha, multipurpose these things!

The weather has been amazingly perfect, with clear sunny skies and light breezes. Just warm enough to still be comfortable wearing an abaya (yeah, we had to keep them on in the park), but not too cool to need a jacket (which you’re really supposed to wear under your abaya.)

It was a treat to see kids riding bicycles, kicking soccer balls and just playing. A girl in an abaya rollerskating was struggling, but honestly even without an abaya, she would be no roller derby contender.

Twice I tried to use the public restroom in the park. But women here can be pretty aggressive when it comes to queueing, or rather not. If you don’t have your game on, there are times when you get left in the dust. I just didn’t have it in me to fight to keep my place in line for some extremely marginal toilets. I decided to wait until we got into the museum. Good call!

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University campus: yes, outdoor space: no

When I heard I would be working at the female campus, and that you don’t need to wear abayas on campus, I pictured being able to sit outdoors or take a stroll in the courtyard during lunch. Wrong.

Our campus is a cluster of two or three connected buildings with no outdoor space. When you walk into the school, there are about three large connected spaces that are student centers. The spaces have high ceilings, tiled floors, tables and chairs, snack bars, and usually, students sitting in small circles of friends on the floor.

So, it feels kinda light and airy, but the light itself is orangish as the upper levels are some kind of translucent orange or peach-colored material.

One of the male teachers in our hotel asked if there were outdoor spaces and we said no. He said, well, how about just the parking lot? Ha, no! There isn’t a student or teacher parking lot. All females, remember! Not one of us inside the building are allowed to drive!

There is a school bus parking area, and a small trailer at the edge where the drivers, all men of course, hang out.

I am extremely lucky now though, because I can walk to and from work. It’s about a 10-minute walk. The weather is mild now, so it’s wonderful. And in a place that there are so few opportunities for women to be outside, I am very grateful for the walks!