Thursday, March 4, 2010

...a hungry wolf.

I need to admit to the world that I was completely and utterly obsessed with the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. I would get home from dropping Meg off at school and turn on CTV Olympic morning and watch all day long. It was perfectly timed with our two weeks of sickness and I wasn't leaving the house anyway. When I did though I was worried the whole time that I would miss a gold medal performance. And I did, I missed plenty. I would invest an entire afternoon watching ski-cross and have to leave before the final heat to go get Meg from school. One day I watched Clara Hughes lay down a record breaking skate in the 5000 meter and had to leave when there were two pairs left to skate. My mom obliged and texted me the bronze medal outcome. One Wednesday evening I had to take Meg to gymnastics during the Canada vs. Russia hockey game and found a website on my iphone that gave me a streaming, text, play by play of the game. It was intense. Both my kids had colds and I had Olympic fever.

The 17 days ended with an overwhleming sense of Canadian pride. I felt awed by the depth of spirit of our young athletes. Joannie Rochette, skating a bronze medal performance after the sudden loss of her mom only four days earlier. Now that is what I call grit. The true Canadian soul of a character like Jon Montgomery. He decided he wanted to be in the Olympics one day and then chose a sport. Only a Canadian would decide on a sport akin to toboganning. And one of my favourite moments of the games was when Charles Hamelin won gold in short track speed skating while his sweetheart, double silver medalist, Marianne St. Gelais, cheered from the stands. She was then gallantly helped over the gaurd rail by an Olympic volunteer to launch herself into one of the most genuine embraces I have ever witnessed. JOY!

We are all going through a bit of Olympic withdrawal around here. Meg is still wearing her official Olympic hoodie and mitts everywhere we go.  Dave is once again reminded of how crap North American television is.  I have been so inspired that I have taken to the sloppy, late-winter streets in my running shoes.  And Lola wonders why that box in the corner of our family room has fallen silent.  She seriously got used to it's constant glow and the sounds of the familiar adverts.  One of them in particular would stop her in her tracks and get her bouncing with joy.  It was a montage of cheering Canadian fans with a Celtic riff in the background.  I am sad to report that it was advertising Coca-Cola.

On the last day of the games I watched an interview with Donald Sutherland. He was fabulous, real and genuinely thrilled with the games and what it meant for Canada. I forget the context of this exactly but he told a story that I had heard before.  I was so happy to hear it again. I needed to hear it again...

An elder Native American was teaching his grandchildren about life. He said to them, "A fight is going on inside me.. it is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other stands for joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith."

"This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person, too", he added.

The Grandchildren thought about it for a minute and then one child asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied... "The one you feed."

Seems random, I know.  But it wasn't for me and my life right now.  It was as if Donald Sutherland was looking right at me out of my TV and saying "hey you, listen up".  Life is actually quite simple at the heart of things.  Just feed the right wolf...  What does this have to do with the Olympics?  Nothing.

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