Archie is complaining to anyone who’ll listen. It’s raining. That totally ruins his plans for the day. I’ve tried but I just can’t get him to understand that my powers are limited. He’s now investigating the space under my bed and curling up in my newly discovered foot bath. (Marie Kondo is more useful than I’d anticipated.)
I on the other hand, am thrilled about the weather. The dead grass is greening itself and plants I’d given up on are sprouting shoots. The rainy day allows me to slip on a snuggly jersey and fluffy slippers. I’m eyeing the plants I wanted to dig up and move. It’s always easier when the ground is more forgiving.
The day holds so much promise. There are many things I’d like to tackle. A more rigorous exercise routine is on my list. The chemo tablets make my head a little fuzzier than usual, give me terribly itchy feet (still) and grumpiness hovers on the edge of my awareness. That could be a disastrous combination. I find sweeping the garage floor furiously, really helps to release some of this negativity. Rebounding also comes to the rescue. But its not enough. Easter eggs and hot cross buns have made my jeans a bit tighter than usual. My body needs kindness, not extra rolls.
All this time for reflection could go either way. I’m choosing to embrace the quirkier thoughts and brush the melancholic ones aside. Childhood games flit across my brain and suddenly I feel the urge to draw a hopscotch pattern on the bricks. I still have some chalk from my teaching days. I’ve rediscovered a swing ball device (thank you Marie) and the soft earth means I can easily wind it into the tiny patch of lawn. If it’s angled just right, I can avoid the bush and the pool. Memories of hitting a tennis ball against our garage door come flashing back to me. Doing handstands against the wall, pushing all the lounge furniture back so that I could practise my dancing, being the last pupil in the school swimming pool, because I just couldn’t bear to get out, throwing a tantrum because I didn’t want to leave the beach in time for lunch at The British Hotel… its time to get that mojo back!
The gift of silence has allowed all these memories to surface. Yes, there are also many irksome ones but I choose the gentler movie to play in my head. And just as I jump onto the re-bounder, the doorbell rings. Xena can hardly contain her excitement and brings our visitor straight to my room. Catherine, a Pathcare nurse and angel in one, entices one of my shy veins to release enough blood. She goes in and out in one professional shot and once again I stand in awe of her commitment. She too, has walked this cancer journey and now stands in front of me with a full head of shiny blonde hair and a smile to light up the whole house. Her presence lingers as she drives away and I know I’ve been in the company of someone extraordinary.
Archie has ventured outside again and is taking cover under his deckchair. The garden is his life. I suppose when you’ve grown up in a cage to start with, the magnificence of the world around you tends to lodge in your brain. Xena, our untrained, three legged rescue dog, has better manners than any other animal we’ve ever owned. Hardships overcome, tend to open all our eyes to where we are now.
We’re all in this sci-fi movie together and no one knows the script. The future is uncertain and scenes change unpredictably. There’ll be a new normal and the earth will be forever changed. None of us can foresee. But I know one thing. Right now, is the moment to be grateful for.
I give you this moment of my life.