Wednesday, October 24, 2012
I woke up this morning with a mysterious pain in my hand, and an equally mysterious asperity in my heart.
"Are you okay?" Chris asked over breakfast.
"Hmm? Yeah, just not awake yet."
But by the time we were ready to get out the door, Chris leaned against the counter and said, "I'm sorry I'm trying your patience this morning."
"Why do you say that?"
"Because you're acting like your patience is being tried."
I paused, and sighed. "I think it says more about my short supply of patience than anything you're doing. I'm sorry."
"It sounds like your patience is being tried by the fact that your patience is being tried. Sounds counterproductive!"
We laughed, but he had a point. "I think I feel a hard day coming on," I told him.
After I dropped Chris off at school, wishing (as always) that he didn't have to go, I sent up a little prayer. I've been avoiding the usual dramatics of asking why do I have so little emotional energy to give? why do I have to be so fragile in this way? because those questions are not far from asking why me?! and there's just never a good answer to that. So instead I asked, What can I do to make things better? How can I have a good day, so that Chris doesn't have to worry, and I can still give to him the way I would like to?
In answer to that prayer, the thought to turn left, toward the park, instead of going straight, toward home, appeared in my mind. Despite still being in the clothes I wore to bed, I didn't question it. I just went to the park, grateful for the subtle guidance of the Comforter.
Tapawingo Park is quickly becoming my favorite place in our new town. The approach has an appealing sense of urbanity, with a view of the bright morning sun hanging over downtown as you cross the bridge. Like the other times I'd gone, I left the bridge in favor of the tree-lined, paved path below. Unlike the other times I'd gone, I did it at a jog rather than the usual sightseeing amble.
As I progressed through the park, I felt the stiffness in my joints and muscles loosen. The tension gave way to a pleasant fluidity, all the more enjoyable in contrast to the burning tightness in my throat. Over the sound of my panting, placid thoughts slowly filtered into my brain:
I never thought I'd be the early morning jog type, but here I am. I am active. I am strong. I am beautiful. And, perhaps most importantly of all, I am grateful.
I covered more ground than I had on my previous visits, so the pliancy in my joints eventually gave way to a twinge in my calf, a tiny pain in my right side. But, in the cool, purple shadows beneath the still-green leaves, I realized, it's just one more thing to remind me that I am alive. My tranquil thoughts continued on that strain, a steady mantra to accompany my rhythmic footfalls:
I'm alive. I'm alive. I'm alive.
And what a wonderful thing that is to be.
at 9:52 AM