My journey over the cancer seas and beyond
Drizzly twilight, slopping in welly boots across muddy fields nearby where I am staying. I know these hedges, trees and fields well, I have spent a year traversing them. My cat is picking his way across the waterlogged surface and I find myself smiling at his unshakeable determination to companion with me on my daily wanderings. There are crows in the trees ahead, intelligent creatures with very complex social networks. I watch as they watch me. Lazily they take flight and loose interest in the human and her mini apex hunter below.
We wander on past the bare oak and newly rain filled brook. Into a small copse beside a large badger hole. The Tor can be seen in the distance, set against grey nondescript clouds and a darkening sky. I see starlings in a small murmuration pass overhead on their winters evening flight to the marshes. The cat thumps me with his tail and I laugh. Yes, ok, lets go, I agree it is too wet to stop for too long.
I get lost in a reverie as we trail beside the bare hedge, thinking intently upon who knows what and am thankful for the wellies as I walk headlong into a new formed lake from recent rains. The cat is none too pleased, swishing his tail from side to side. I ungracefully back up and we navigate the edges of the new water feature. Its hard going and I am grateful for the deer path through the hedge that appears.
The other field is what I fondly know of as the hare field. I smile in memory of the Jack and Jill couple who had frequented its edges in their quivering quizzical way this summer past. I know, its funny the name of the male and female hares. Anyway the couple had left after the combine harvesting of the vibrant rape seed crop, maybe they will return in the spring.
Remembering the hares got me thinking about this year again. The cycle of the seasons as I walked through the valley of my own existence and my life was weighed upon the scales between the worlds. Its been 13 days since my scan, the one that tells us if this year of treatment has been successful. And in that 13 days I have seeped myself into the richness of all that is me. I found pleasure in giving when nought was expected. In simple celebration with those I love. I prayed to fire, earth, water, stone and air. To the gods and the angels and the star beings. I prayed to any who would listen.
As I sank deeper into the waiting I had a moment of glorious realisation. That this is what living is about. The commitment to ones life in full, no matter the consequences. I was smiling in that field as I breathed in and knew without doubt that I had done all that I could do. And in this knowing there is peace. I reached for my phone, for no apparent reason other than the compulsion to do so. Gazing at the screen a new email had arrived. I opened it. It was from my oncology nurse, she said,
“Your MRI is fine, no new findings or changes. Which is really good news”
I cried and laughed my way back up the field.
That is a walk I will never forget.