I don’t get out much because Jody’s been so sick. Today was my day. I went to the women’s professional golf tournament in London. Here’s what I noticed:
1. Even before I hit the links, I hit the restaurant. At 6:00 am I strolled into Harry’s with my sports section, prepared to savour bacon, poached eggs, hash browns and whole wheat toast. I know it sounds ordinary but for me it was a delicious celebration of normality. During two-and-a-half cups of coffee, I read about the Canadian golfers I’d be following for eighteen holes. How easy it’s been for me to forget the usual rhythms of life.
2. On the course, I was surrounded by people who were walking. Big crowds. At home, it’s been Jody in bed or a wheelchair, with one of our PSWs and me. In malls with Jody, I haven’t paid much attention to how people walk, but out there on the grass today I sure did. Many folks, old and young and in between, moved gracefully, sort of caressing the grass. Some limped. Some walked very tentatively. And many took off like a bat out of hell to get ahead of their favorite player and see all the shots. “Let’s give ‘er!” some guy yelled, and he and his friends started running. I noticed times when I too was trying to catch all the action, speeding up to an unnatural pace. Finally I noticed what I was doing, and settled back again.
3. I don’t need to pile up the spectacular golfing moments and count them at the end of the day. A few instants of grace will do nicely, such as watching a golfer’s face as she holds the follow through of the swing – a timeless image. Or registering the smile between competitors when one of them makes a spectacular shot.
4. At one point, I was talking to a marshal about the number of great young Canadian golfers who were doing well these days. She was just inside the ropes and I was outside. We paused our conversation while a golfer hit her ball. Then I turned back to her … and she was gone. Sigh. We had been together for a minute of two, and then she ended it. Without a goodbye.
5. I watched the relationship between golfers and caddies, such as the player who handed the club she had just used to her caddie without even looking at him. One caddie, probably the golfer’s father, was on her just about all the time, with opinions and proddings. He even stopped her once while she was waggling her club pre-shot. Other caddies seemed to offer advice only when asked, but did give lots of encouragement.
6. Just before a player hit her ball, marshals held up white paddle-type signs which said “Quiet, eh?” a fun reference to our Canadian lingo. The message was gentle, certainly not “Quiet!”, which would have brought back childhood memories of Saturday matinees at the Park Theatre, where a matronly-looking woman patrolled the aisles, snarling “Less noise!”
7. I sauntered up hills and dales, feeling light on my feet for awhile, positively youthful. This compared to a tournament a couple of years ago, when my ballooning leg had me going slower and slower … until I gave up after walking just eight holes. I was very sad back then. Happy today.
8. Humidity. It rolled over us in a cumulative way. And eventually I started feeling some of that old fragility. Too much sun. Too tired. Time to go home after watching my Canadian gals finish their round. And that was okay. Quite human, I’d say.
Life … Golf
Golf … Life