Finally, some real snow – light and fluffy, and enough to make the landscape new and magical. Oh, we’ve had some snow and cold, but just enough to make walking icy and slow. This time, however, it is irresistible for a photographer. So, I bundle up, drape the camera over my shoulder and head out. As I walk to the edge of town several blocks away, there are many beautiful snow-covered trees, but power lines and buildings spoil every photo that I want to take. Once outside of town, I walk alongside the edge of the road, shuffling through the snow, keeping my distance from the traveled portion of the road. It is a relief to be away from power lines and fences and driveways. It is even better when I am far enough out of town to be beyond the concrete canal that encloses Placer Creek to make sure it behaves during spring run-off.
Now I can walk along the bank above the creek. And here it is that I take photos and more photos, loving the dark movement of the creek against the purity of the white snow and backed by snow-covered trees, dark and mysterious.
As I walk and observe and take photos, I am thinking about my life at this moment. Healing is a complex process. It isn’t just a matter of incisions drawing closed, the simple healing of a wound. The deeper wound is “how could this have happened?” How do I know it will not happen again? It took me so by surprise – I who had not been to a doctor in over 20 years – faced with a life-threatening condition.
A new lease on life has been given to me, but here I am, waking up with anxiety and going through my day with a sense of weariness. Even though I approached all the procedures as openly as possible, seeing the process not as a war against cancer but as a journey back to wellness, I still feel battle-weary. Where does this weariness come from? It occurs to me that even though I am busy every day, getting caught up with bookwork and housework that has fallen behind in the last several month, as well as helping out more with my husband’s non-profit, this busy-ness is without enthusiasm and sense of purpose.
I KNOW what my purpose at this time in my life is, but I can’t seem to accomplish it in a meaningful way here and now. I’ve always been a person with my ducks in a row, but now I feel that I’m floundering in a life that isn’t my own true life. It is most uncomfortable. Perhaps a time of being lost in the desert is okay, or even good and necessary, but it is still uncomfortable. I have spent too much of my life being in resistance to “what is” – a long and difficult first marriage, more recently a move that has left me longing for a home that is no longer my home, and my family still too far away to give and receive the hugs we all need.
It is a leap of faith to be totally accepting of this present state of affairs, to lovingly embrace my life as it is, with all of its uncertainties and ducks running amuck. I want to be like this creek as it flows toward the sea, flowing effortlessly over and around the rocks in its way. I want to be joyfully alive and surrounded by beauty. This is my gift to share: seeking, finding, and sharing beauty. So I will accept the floundering and look for the beauty in each and every day (and ignore the ducks as best I can).