Chronic Illness, Cherry Blossoms and Dog Police
"Chronic Illness, Cherry Blossoms and Dog Police"
Most of you know that I am living with a chronic illness. I don't write about it much because I don't want to identify too much with my and it's also something I don't always like to be reminded of. Nonetheless, it's a part of this season of my life, but I see myself as so much more than my current limitations.
However, for anyone that has ever dealt with long-term sickness, you know how much it impacts your life. So, when you have good days / weeks, you cherish them tremendously. Today happens to be one of those days. It is a glorious 70 sunny day in February (a perk of living in the NC), and I have felt good enough to get out and walk. This week in particular, I have felt very strong.
Today I was able to walk further than I have in over a year. As my dogs and I ventured left to the part of the neighborhood that I haven't been able to see on foot, I was suddenly greeted with freshly bloomed cherry blossom trees. Immediately, I was overcome with gratitude. I felt like I was getting kissed by the heavens with a tangible sign of new life. Those trees have undoubtedly been there this entire time, all winter, just waiting for me too see those gorgeous soft pink petals. I was alone at the time, but literally felt like Whitman breaking into song and celebration over nature's glory and my participation.
There are moments like these that I am reminded of the grandeur and beauty of all things. How the universe and divine are orchestrating my steps. That it was no accident that I didn't get to those trees until they were ripe with spring color. How could I have possibly appreciated the significance of the distance if today had not been so enraptured with the signs of new life?
There have been many times over the course of this year when I have doubted the goodness of all things--of God, of circumstances, of life. But today was not one of those days. Today I entered into the present moment of consciousness that something benevolent is conspiring on my behalf. The new spark of life is just waiting for the perfect time to ignite, and life as we know it is an ebb and flow of endings and new beginnings. Today is a new beginning.
The irony of all of this to quickly zap me back to the everyday intrusions that we all deal while experiencing moments of delight was a neighbor drove by, rolled down the window and condescendingly asked, "Why my dogs were on her lawn?" That in itself could be an entire post about the degradation of our harmony with nature, but alas, another day...However, I am happy to report I spiritedly provided some commentary that suggested, "We did not need her to be the neighborhood dog police and keep driving."
However, that in itself did not steal my moment from me. How could she have known the reason I was loitering on her lawn was because all the energy within me had been expended, so I was forced to stand STILL and bow in wonder and awe. I could somehow not escape the gorgeousness of those flowers, that symbolic meaning and the hope it gives my future.
My walk ended with me calling home to celebrate my progress and share the details while wishing my 86 year old grandmother a happy birthday today. We talked about how I am healing and she congratulated me on standing up for myself to my neighbor and ended with, "Good for you. I didn't know you had it in you."
I smiled and thought maybe neither did I, but it's here, just like those buds...that I couldn't see until now.