Sometimes, usually when we least expect it, an event happens ~ after which life is never quite the same again. There have been no posts from me for quite some time, as I learn and feel my way into new ways of living after experiencing a health crisis. Slowly, deliberately, over the past few months I’ve been regaining my strength, noticing the little things ~ and coming to terms with the unpredictability of living. We can never know what will happen tomorrow, or even in the next few moments. On some level, we all know this, but for me it has become a lived reality.
Photo by Seth Rockmuller
As a result, I’m not certain which direction this blog will follow. What shall I release? What shall I continue? As the leaves begin to drift down from the trees, autumn seems an appropriate time to sweep away the unessential. Samhain will soon arrive, heralding a new year, a new cycle. Its meaning will be deeper for me this year, as I welcome my ancestors into conversation, and walk on the wild side.
Bits of snow linger in tucked-away places, as in this large, mossy tree stump. (Click to enlarge it.)
The sky today was an astonishing blue color.
After an especially intense week I needed to get out for a walk this afternoon, even though I had told myself I would work on taxes today. It was breezy and chilly despite the sun. Old age, illness and death were on my mind because of recent events with family and friends. The brown oak leaves underfoot were dead, the tree branches still barren. Bits of ice clung to the shadowed shores of streams. In places there were bits of green, mostly from mosses.
Feeling the weight of the week (and months) past, I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue with the walk - but after crossing a wooden bridge over a stream, I met one of my woody, creature-like friends. She had obviously been there quite a while, for moss had grown on her forehead and snout. Her mouth was slightly open, as though she were about to speak. In an unexpected way, I found myself comforted by this critter made of life, death, and decomposition. A weight lifted from me.
The rest of the walk was in balance, an elusive balance I seek in my up-and-down life these days. I realize I have spent too much time indoors. As the weather warms, I will seek more woodland experiences – and then, of course there is the garden . . .
For the past two weeks I’ve been experiencing a crash course in navigating the hospital and a nursing home, as my mother, 93 this month, underwent some medical difficulties. Today my sister is visiting, offering sibling support, which is fabulous. And tomorrow I plan to be in the pulpit, sharing a Psalm and a passage from John.
In the past few days I have found a couple of hours of respite in my garden, preparing space for new herbs and flowers, smelling the rich earth: humus, humility, humanity – literally grounding myself as I kneel in the dirt, sensing the budding life force all around me. May my mother feel this greening, growing, healing power, too, as she grows stronger day by day: the miracle of simply being alive.
The view from my balcony today:
Glorious day, sunshine, warm breezes, very strange for April.
It’s a respite. A time to just sit, to rest, heal, read, and write. This time of sanctuary was not easy to come by. Hard-won, it is lovely.
I highly recommend it.