What we want is to feel alive. To have an appetite. To have muscle. To move. To feel things, smell them, touch them, see them, taste them, hear them. To know safety and comfort. To have clarity and purpose. To know love, beauty. To feel empowered. To have hope.
There is, by the way, no such thing as false hope. Hope always goes against odds, and is exactly that—believing in and focussing on possibility.
My chemo this week threw me for more of a loop than I’d planned on, so — unbearably self-pitying and bored with the living room this morning — I ventured out. The melting snow and bright sun felt mocking, not soothing. This is the part we’re loathe to admit, or write about when we find ourselves in the crucibles of life: we despair. We do our yoga and our meditation to maintain resilience and optimism, and tap into an unexpected well of rage instead.
So out I went, into the bright sun, not knowing where to, thinking perhaps I might capture some beauty with my camera, or take a peek at January sales. Strike, and strike.
I drove by the long line-up at Edmonton’s Bissell Centre and was reminded of this fundamental truth: no matter what our station in life, we want to improve it. Mittens, a hot drink, a jacket.
My fatigue won out. I turned the car into the local grocery store and picked up some sushi, fresh raspberries, and the carrot muffins I’d been craving. (Yes, I still have an appetite, sort of at least, thankfully.) I looked at the fresh flowers and toyed with indulging myself, but they turned out to be too much to carry.
It wasn’t exactly what I wanted, my outing, but neither was it in vain. I remembered that I’m not alone, that bad times pass. I remembered the angels that minister to my physical and emotional health. I remembered to tell them thank you. I remembered my friend, in her own current hell, and sent her my love via the wavelengths of life that connect us all. I remembered the love of my parents, my husband, my children. And as I left the parking lot, I received a text from one of them. Medicine for my spirit. Their love and joy are baptismal waters for me, always.
(Yup, that’s me, back in the age of innocence. There was a little girl, who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead…. I’m trying to remember the feeling.)