I’d been looking forward to April 18th for weeks. The first day in the lead-up to Easter Sunday. The day I’d finally get to leave the city and head to the village.
The day itself was pretty manic and had me legging it all over town for various appointments and meetings, a mirror image of the day before with back-to-back meetings all day starting from 8 am. Nerves were on edge and my famously low tolerance levels had sunk to minus figures. To say I was in a foul mood would be an understatement. Consciously trying to be more ‘in the moment’, I’ve learned to take a rather dispassionate look at my behaviour. I’m the first to hold up my hand and admit to being a right cow. I don’t need to be told. And Thursday was a bovine day.
I’ve been cursed with too much of the considerate gene. It’s hardwired. Ingrained. Innate. I can’t stop myself. It’s dangerous to mention to me that you’re looking for something, even in passing. because it registers with me. It gets written onto my mental checklist and stays there till you tell me you’ve found it or no longer want it or I’ve found it for you. It could be six months later or even a couple of years later but if I stumble across it, I’ll remember. I remember birthdays, the strangest of anniversaries, and passing fancies. If I see something that screams your name, I’ll get it for you, just because it clicked. And I’m not at all bothered about getting anything in return. Reciprocity doesn’t come into it. It’s all about the find and the unexpected gift.
But if I give you my time, my energy, my talent, I expect, on a subconscious level, to be paid back in like. Strange, isn’t it? I’m not at all bothered about stuff, but I get inordinately upset about time and energy. The one thing guaranteed to set me off, besides dishonesty, is a feeling of being used. I’m trying hard to eliminate the shoulds from my life and have taken a long cold look at the various obligations I’ve felt skivvy to. But there’s a difference between common courtesy and obligation, between doing something because it’s the right thing to do rather than because you feel you have to. This is my downfall.
When I’m running on empty and haven’t had my eight hours’ kip two nights in a row, just one perceived slight can grow velcro-like legs and attach itself to everything it passes. I know this about myself. I accept it. I fight hard not to let it take hold. But every so often I allow myself the luxury of being rightly pissed off. By Thursday at 5 pm, I was seething.
But at 5.35pm, when the train pulled out of the Déli, I could feel the frustration lifting. Seats were at a premium. The summer season hasn’t get kicked in so you can’t make reservations. Himself was boarding at Kelenföld and I’d managed to snag two seats on the right-hand side, the Balaton side. All wasn’t yet well but it was on its way. We picked up the car in Balatonszentgyörgy about 8’ish, got a takeaway pizza, and headed to the village.
Once we’d crossed the blue bridge at Balatonhídvég, the last of the angst left me and the familiar calmness I’ve come to associate with village life settled upon me. I can’t describe it. It hits me every time, from whichever direction I come. The same happens when I leave Zalakomár behind me, too. The approach to the village from either end is one of endless fields of yellow rapeseed. The frogs and geese and ducks make the most of the silence. A couple of cars passed but I was in no hurry. I knew where I was going. Home.
The annoyances and grievances of the past week have been largely forgotten. Tomorrow is Easter Sunday. The shopping is done. The food is in. The fridge is stocked. I’ve been on to mam for the recipe for her mint sauce. Some of our guests arrive by train in the morning. Others will come early afternoon. Tonight we’ll go to the village church where parishioners will bring their hams and bread to be blessed. I’ve a massive leg of lamb in the fridge that will have to make do with a virtual blessing. The weather is gorgeous. The forecast is for more of the same. Being able to share valuable time, eating good food, chatting with good friends – that’s something to be grateful for.
Beannachtaí na Cásca oraibh. Kellemes Húsvéti Ünnepeket. Happy Easter.