My journey beyond the cancer seas.
There is a humbling that happens to me in the presence of mountains. Their tantalizing strength of ages exudes a wisdom that is inexplicably rich and unknowable. How can we ever truly know the depth of those rocks that have stood for so long on this earth. And have endured so much?
I have once again spent time in Scotland. In a glen I love so dearly, at the head of a waterfall that tumbles down a mountainside into an oxbow river with purple heather, rich across the valley floor.
I came through the pine forest that whispered of ancient times and tribal clans. Out into the awesome sight of the mountain brethren who cradled that soft grassy basin. I walked beside that winding river, hearing the distant thunder of the waters grow louder, the closer I came toward the waterfall. There was a sense of reverence as I wandered. Of rightness. Of what it is to be of value and to be valued.
Each part of this landscape has its place. Each plant, each rock, every drop of water. All are formed in a symbiotic fashion that hold a magic and a power. We all know these places. Something in us expands when we find them. The world is full of them. And for me their magic is very much about each thing allowing each other thing to just be. All is in its place and accepted for what it is.
As many if you know I am on the road to recovery beyond the cancer seas. And it’s hard out here. I find myself like tumble weed at times, blowing across the floor of human interaction, unsure as to where my roots need to be and what my form should take. And I am learning. Each day brings new challenges as I carve out my place. Its so different than I was before. On the surface I look extremely well. Sadly, that’s only one side of things. On the inside I am shuddering under the stain of unseen health issues that knock my feet out from under me daily. The crushing anxiety, panic terrors and tinnitus make my internal world often feel like a ship in a storm. Its been hard to understand my new value in this world as this me. In a world where doing is rewarded over being.
My heightened sensitivity means that I feel the unspoken expectations other have of me. The need for me to be as I was. Or somehow better or further along than I am.
How does one go back to being the rock of old times when one has been transformed to the waterfall crashing down to the valley floor? What I was is not who I am becoming. And in that I find there is massive value. I have to find the value in it, the value in me. I also have to accept that not all will understand the things I will do, or the places I need to go.
In part my time in Scotland was filled with the wonder of seeing dear friends. For them I am grateful. But in another way I came to this land, to this magical glen to reflect upon who I am now. To celebrate those that stand beside me. To mourn for those I have lost in my becoming. To open fresh space for others that find joy in this new emerging me. To just breathe in and out in peace. I had no panic attacks or tinnitus on that day, in that precious glen.
I climbed the valley. The furthest I have walked since my diagnosis. I found a rock and sat above the fast and furious surge of the waters near the source. Above me the changing clouds moved their dance as I prayed. Two birds that I thought were buzzards circled on high, calling to each other. Today, I found out that those birds are nesting golden eagles. I am in such joy. Life is such a blessing and nature is a balm for this weary but strong soul.
May each of you find the acceptance and understanding you need to flourish in this crazy world. Know that you are valued. You do fit. Even when you are transformed by life, and thrown into fraught challenge by that transformation. You will get through. There is always a place at the table of life, just because you exist. I say this to you because I need to remember it for myself. We can be our own protector or destroyer and we need each other to make our best choices. Like that magnificent valley. we are each a place of wonder.
Let’s soar like eagles.