That’s Eliza up ahead walking between her mother and aunt with her father and grandfather behind her! I was struck by this sweet image of support and obvious affection and love. It was a poignant metaphor for my own experience, in fact.
Today was the first day in over 2 years that I could walk the perimeter of Greenbury Point. For those of us in Annapolis, this is a really magical walk with the Chesapeake Bay surrounding us and quiet woods with so many people and dogs to greet and meet. And, me? I was walking in pure joy and gratitude, as I am now post op for 2 new hips since September.
Just over 2 months ago I had my second hip replacement and this walk was celebratory for me to be sure. In fact, I feel a bit like Eliza, with my new hips supporting me! And, the feeling of movement without extreme pain is beyond description. This was a challenging year that included many diagnostics and medical appointments that only culminated in the surgeries of this past fall. I had much practice in finding peace in the midst of fear and chronic pain. And, much help through friends as well as amazing medical staff and personnel. There were the nurses and the anesthesiologists; the aides and radiologists; the physical therapists. Not to mention, the surgeon and P.A. I think I liked PACU best! Coming out of the O.R, I was pushed in my gurney like a parade float into this unit for post anesthesia and received incredible care. I don’t know why the staff seem so happy there. But they are and they were and I want to go back sometime and just lay in that bed and be cared for as I was then, after both procedures among such happy staff.
So, today, I am on my feet again and one of the biggest accomplishments was this simple hour long walk with stops for tai chi movements and moments sitting on the benches staring out into the vast blue sky and crystalline bay. This is my first post since Thanksgiving and I am once again, contemplating the nature of gratitude not just for this walk, but for the teachings all along the way.
I missed a lot over the year including a family reunion, and there was a lot to let go of – this is where the spiritual practices are the most challenged. Is it really possible to find peace no matter what? My own experience is a resounding yes. In pain and out of pain, there was a center of peace. Adversity is a task-master while being a great teacher. I think today was a kind of graduation, not just because of the walk, but also an acknowledgement of the perseverance it took all along the way to bring my attitude in alignment with what I believe and with gratefulness and happiness.
So, my wish is that in your life, no matter the obstacles, that you, like Eliza, find the support and love necessary to walk your own path.