The November of My Discontent
A few weeks ago, we had snow. Not alot of snow, just three inches or so and it was cold and damp and while beautiful it marked the start of winter, or so I thought. Since then, there hasnt been much in the way of wintery, blustery, bitter cold or snow. In fact, the opposite is true. The sun has been beautiful; not quite warm, but it makes it comfortable to be outside. There is something special about the way the sun comes down this time of year. It is different from spring or summer and it feels like the light comes down gently and lays across the land. Its angular and soft at the same time and being out in light like that makes me feel good.
This is where the pretty part of the story changes direction. You see, just after that lovely snow, during those sweet fall days, something went terribly wrong in the area of my hips and lower back. So instead of being able to be outside getting things done, checking off chores from my list, visiting friends and neighbors and wandering the hills on the ATV, I was lucky to be able to get to the bathroom and back.
So, before this becomes a rant on my disappointment, frustration, and unending suffering, I will mention that tomorrow is Thanksgiving. The third Thursday of every November is Thanksgiving, but as I look back at the majority of the month I find myself conflicted about the whole “thankful” thing. I know that truly, in my heart of hearts, that I have much to be thankful for. I really do, but watching my life go by while I am confined to a chair makes me cranky and whiney. I think that it would do the same to anyone, especially after years of illness, but I digress…
As I say, tomorrow is turkey day, and we will be joining friends for a wonderful meal and communion. This evening, Candace and I prepared cranberry relish, rutabega and apple pie. We enjoy being in the kitchen together. We are a well oiled machine, able to each work on our own project while helping each other as needed. We both enjoy cooking, and the anticipation of sharing food with friends makes it all the better. Then, two days after Thanksgiving, we celebrate once again with friends, and both gatherings have something in common. We will be celebrating with our Godchildren. First Candaces, then mine, though we each claim the others as well. It only makes sense, being that Candace and I are joined at the hip, each of our Godchildren will know us both, and that is a good thing. Something to be thankful for, I guess it could be said.
Then, in spite of the fact that we, like so many others, have felt the pinch of the economic distress that the whole world is wrapped in, we were able to obtain adjacent property increasing our small farm significantly. I wont mention the house that comes with the property, yet there it sits, in a state of sad disrepair, but full of potential. I find myslef thinking about it, planning the repairs that I hope to be able to do to make it livable and useable. You see, I said “hope”. I can still look forward, still dream. More to put in the pile of things to mark as “”thankful”.
So the more I think about it all, the more I can see that even with all the pain, all the medication, and all the waiting to feel better, that I am so much better off than so many. I dont need to list all the reasons why. That I can see it for myself is enough. What is important is that everyone, in their own way, be able to see the good things, no matter how small. As long as we are alive, there is always a reason to be thankful for it because we have one more day to learn, to love, to be, and sometimes, “being” is the best we can do. This I know, I spent alot of time not having any choice but to sit still. But as I do, I can still see the sun casting shadows through the trees out my window. That window keeps me from the cold and damp in winter, and lets the warm breeze rush through in the summer. I have one place to be where my old and broken body can find comfort, and for this I am thankful too. So yeah, I feel disheartened at having to watch life go by, but I do get to watch. My discontent, well, I come by it honestly. It has been a long and practiced relationship. And I am thankful for every minute of it.