By Ingrid Sapona
I was on vacation in Mexico for a few weeks in January. One
of the trees outside the condo I was staying in was the sometime home of a
rather large iguana. (I say sometime because there was one windy afternoon when
it disappeared – perhaps seeking a less swaying habitat.) As soon as the condo
owner mentioned the iguana, I looked for it.
The friends I was with were surprised at my interest in the
iguana – I guess because they know my general lack of fondness for things that
are creepy and crawly. What my friends seemed to not “get” was that the reason I
was always checking for it in the tree was I knew if it was there, it wasn’t in
The iguana’s conservation of movement was also of interest
to me. Other than its disappearance that one day, I only saw it move twice –
and both times the movements were slow and minimal. Indeed, to an untrained
observer like me, it certainly seemed like the iguana was – well, lazy.
Though the others didn’t share my fascination with the
resident iguana, I noticed that with the sun shining down on us and nothing
more pressing than deciding whether to order a tamarind margarita or a
pineapple mojito, with each passing day we seemed to model our behaviour more
and more on our reptilian friend. And, at some point, being “lazy like an
iguana” became our motto.
Alas, at the end of the vacation I left the warmth and the
iguana behind to return to winter in Toronto. Before I knew it I was back in
the swing of my everyday life, which doesn’t leave a lot of room for “lazy like
an iguana” behaviour.
Last weekend – like much of the east coast – Toronto got a
healthy dose of snow. In fact, it was the most snow we’ve had in many years. And,
what made it especially unusual – from my perspective – is that the snow
accumulated even in my neighborhood. (Living so close to the lake, I can testify
to the truth of the old saying: it’s cooler by the lake in summer, and warmer in
By mid-Friday afternoon, as I watched the snow piling up on
the balcony, I thought maybe on Saturday I’d break out my snow shoes, which
have been gathering dust in my storage locker. Once upon a time I was very into
snow shoeing and friends and I used to drive to different provincial parks far
and wide to partake.
Saturday morning’s bright blue sky and the fresh, powdery
snow was glorious. I thought about phoning some friends to see if they were
interested going snowshoeing but, frankly, I was too lazy to organize anything
and, given the road conditions, the idea of driving anywhere didn’t appeal to
me. But, I thought it would be shameful to not at least try snowshoeing in the
parkland along the lake. So, I put on various layers, dug out mittens and ear
muffs, and grabbed my sunglasses. I also spent more than a few minutes deciding
what boots to wear.
When I used to go snowshoeing regularly, I used to wear
“city” boots to drive to wherever we’d be snowshoeing but I’d change into
thicker, warmer boots (we used to call them moon walkers) to snowshoe in. I
still have the moon walkers, but they’re tucked away in a far corner of the
closet and I’d have to move a lot of stuff to get them out. Rationalizing that
it wasn’t that cold out, I decided not to bother getting out the moon walkers.
As soon as I got outside, I was excited. And, when I saw a
few cross-country skiers go by, I knew the snowshoes were a good idea. So, I
set about putting the snowshoes on. It had been so long, it took me awhile to figure
out the bindings. As I tinkered with them, I realized that because the city
boots are pretty narrow, it was going to be tricky to tighten the bindings
enough around them. But, eventually I got the snowshoes on and off I went.
I got about five steps before my right foot stepped right
out of the binding. Oops! I stepped back into the binding, snugged it up, and
off I went. Eight or so steps later the left one came out. Ok, try it again. A
few more steps and my right foot was out again. Damned bindings! This went on
for quite some time.
Eventually I realized the problem had more to do with the
boots – they were too small for the snowshoes – than the bindings. Ugh – if
only I hadn’t been too lazy to get the moon walkers out! Finally, when it got
to the point that I couldn’t take more than a few steps without leaving a
snowshoe behind, I gave up.
As I headed home – carrying my snowshoes – I realized “lazy
like an iguana” is but one shade of lazy. That morning I learned the hard way
that even through action you can be lazy…
© 2013 Ingrid Sapona