Monday, September 5, 2011

A Moment

When I need some peace and beauty, I head over to margie and kath at soeurs du jour.  Today, with my world going 90, as Tana French would have it, I clicked and was rewarded with exactly what I needed, a gentle nudge to take a moment and breathe.

I've been caught up in the beginning of school madness since the beginning of August and it's Labor Day and I'm exhausted.  It's all good, as the Cuters say, but it's a far cry from 12 weeks of watching the sun cross the western sky, perched on Douglas, healing.

I want a warm to the bone lazy afternoon.  I want a short but purposeful walk, all alone.  I want to feel at ease.

I had that feeling of ease all through January and February and March and into April.  Does that surprise you?  It seemed to me, then,  that I had the easiest job of all; I only had to heal.  I lay still and I was working.  Like an infant or an 8th grade boy, there was nothing I could do but watch my body grow.

I had plenty of extra mental energy, albeit in brief spurts.  I hand wrote thank you notes and took an occasional phone call.  My SuziSitters and I fell into a habit of quiet late afternoons.... well, all but Heidi, who is constitutionally incapable of sitting still ..... and those quiet afternoons, when I wasn't napping, those were really special.

I was inside myself and completely safe, because I was never alone unless I wanted to be.  Without concerns beyond my repairing hip, I could watch the clouds.  I was employed in what everyone who loved me told me was the most important job I had at the moment; I was getting better.  I did my exercises and considered the connections between my ankle and my calf and wondered if I'd ever feel my thigh again but that's all I did.  I wondered.

I didn't panic that it would be numb forever.  I examined the concept of a styrofoam adductor and moved on.  I was working on growing acetablulae and I wasn't diverting any energy from that chore.  Besides, as Bubba used to remind me, "You'll have plenty of time to worry about it when it happens.  Why waste today?  It might be your last time to be happy."

Once you stop giggling about how she managed to turn a positive into an unbelievably strong negative I hope you can see her point.  Today is today.  Tomorrow is not promised - with or without a smile.  It was nice visiting with her, there on Douglas, and I took comfort in letting the worry go.

It's simpler to do that when you can't move.

My actual inbox while I recuperated
Once I was up and around, once the limping and the scrunching stopped limiting my ambulation, I became over-scheduled.  Therapy and projects and weddings and anniversaries and ailing friends .... it was nice to be needed but I missed my quiet time, too.

I liked having my inbox fit within the confines of a gift bag. It made me smile to cart my life around, dangling from my walker.  It was nice to feel that whatever I did was more than enough.

I had time with my own thoughts.  I tried to avoid the sad and scary places and, for the most part, I was successful.  I wondered about who I was and what I wanted to do but mostly I wandered through my life, as cards came in from college friends and childhood neighbors and high school teachers.

I pondered my cousin insisting that I was a hero. A volunteer firefighter, he runs into burning buildings, yet he demanded that I accept his appellation.  I thought about being fast and redefining myself at a slower pace.  I rejected that, and moved on.

I spent 4 months at ease.  I spent 4 months rushing around, again in Bubba's words, "like a chicken with your head cut off!"  Today, before I jump into the next 4 months, a season of anniversaries, of fresh starts, of new beginnings, today I am following margie and kath's advice and I'm just going to take a moment......


  1. Hope you're taking a moment to sit a spell.

    Margie and Kath's blog is just beautiful. I had not come across it before.


  2. A beautiful post. I very much enjoyed reading it.

  3. And I am too. I am taking today just for myself. Backing up some photos, a coffee out and lunch at home ... peaceful.
    We are all heroes, doing our best and being brave as we navigate our own battles, big and small. xo

  4. Nice link.

    Back before 9/11, before the crash of '08, folks were working on taking a moment, on balance and self-possession. The phrase "responding, not reacting" was popular among the calmer cognoscenti. I keep forgetting to do this. I figure it out or someone reminds me and I belly breathe, and then something whams me upside the head and I forget...sometimes altogether.

    Thanks, I needed that.

  5. If a firefighter calls you a hero, I'm afraid that's probably what you are. Me, I'm more of a submarine sandwich.


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