The sun came up this morning and I was glad to see it. The clouds were beautiful this week, but the gloom was starting to wear me down. I've become sunshine-addicted, a total weather wimp. Without a big blue sky overhead, I feel deprived. Have I been unworthy, oh, Weather Goddess? Have I been unappreciative of the wonderfulness that is the desert Southwest in January? Did yesterday's longing for San Francisco's clear skies push Tucson's clouds closer and darker over my house?
I'm sorry. I'm really really really sorry. I'll try to be more grateful in the future.
The more I think about it, the more I come to believe that I am the luckiest woman on the planet. Three bullets went through me and none of my vital organs were injured. Actually, it's probably more accurate to say that none of my organs, vital or otherwise, were injured, except for my skin. Bones, tendons, joints, nerves and ligaments all came in for a beating, it's true. But, reattaching and reconnecting and rehabbing will make them heal. There's nothing scary about it. It just takes work. If I keep at it, if I pay attention to the instructions my team of experts aims in my direction, if I work through the discomfort, nothing else will go wrong. I may not recover as quickly or as fully as I would like, but I won't take a step backwards if I stick to the program.
Gabrielle Giffords continues to inspire me to keep a smile on my face and steel in my spine. My mental images of her share the same, sunny backdrop. Gabby on her motorcycle, Gabby and Mark posing for their wedding portrait, Gabby walking through the desert with three silver belt buckled, scuffed booted, moustachioed County sheriffs towering over her - she's glowing in the reflection of the heavens' delight in her presence.
Did I really type that? Where, oh, where, is the snarky New York heathen who used to reside within this perforated skin? What has happened to my ability to belittle the sentimental, to call it mawkish and over-wrought? Though MTF may mourn her passing, I'm enjoying being surprised by what she left behind after the bullets stopped flying. When I find myself waxing eloquent on the gods' enjoyment of that which is Gabby, I have to smile. I'm not just channeling an ancient worshiper of Artemis, I'm understanding just how she felt.
There's a connection between the land and the sky and the psyche here that I've not found anywhere else. I've been attached to a specific place, a space that brings me joy, but the edges have never been quite as sharp as they are here, right now. Snow-capped rocky mountains and flora with the strangest shapes G'ma has ever seen and clouds perched atop peaks, stuck in the biggest sky since Little Cuter and I drove across Wyoming - these are the backdrop to a quick trip to the store for milk and eggs. They are impossible to ignore. They define the space. They force me to think and consider and compare and contrast. I feel small and powerful all at the same time.
As I've been ruminating on why I lived when so many didn't, on why my deficits can be conquered when so many can't, on how I came to be so lucky, I've had bright blue skies behind me. The topic skirts around the darkness that lurks at the edges of the story and the light helps to brighten my thoughts. When the clouds roll in and the rain blurs my view of the mountains outside my window, it's all too easy to fall back towards the abyss.
I am so grateful to the sunny skies. I will try not to take them for granted any more.