Friday, January 26, 2018

Get Up and Start Over

Here is what I know:
if I fall, I get up
if I fail, I start over

A few days ago, I spent a fantastic morning skiing.
On my last run before heading home, I flew over my skis and landed on my face.
I hit  the snow and bounced, my goggles and glasses smacking me hard.
I was stunned for a moment but then began assessing the damage.

I felt shaky but could tell my body wasn't broken or torn.
However, I had an immediate headache from the blow.
My prescription glasses were in pieces inside my goggles.

A young man, a Good Samaritan, made his way to me:
"Are you OK - can I help you?"
I was up high, hidden in a copse of trees.
I was surprised he found me there.
He was fuzzy - my eyesight is poor without the glasses.

I told him I was OK but had broken my glasses.
I asked if he'd ski to the bottom of the slope to find Bob.
I described what he was wearing.
"Tell him I'm OK - I'll be down soon."

I put the broken glasses in a pocket and slowly rose on the skis.
Dizzy at first, I started making careful turns to the bottom.
Skiing without my glasses felt wierd.

When I finally saw the bright blue of Bob's coat, I was relieved.
Following him, I made my way to the base of the mountain.

I'm still a child at heart.

I've been skiing since age 27 - for 46 years, I've enjoyed the sport.
My mind and body and spirit have benefited from years of balancing and making turns.
Looking down from the top of a snowy mountain is thrilling.
Linking turns on skis is like floating through an expanse of white.
Even though my body is old, skiing allows me to feel graceful.

I'm still sore, so I'm sidelined a few days.
My neck muscles are tight from the whiplash.
Luckily, I have another pair of glasses.
(I always wear an older pair when skiing.)

Our youngest grandson Sam, age 5, learning to ski - photo by his sister, Amanda

Life is about getting up and starting over.
Resilience is my One Good Thing today.

I'm also very thankful for the Good Samaritan.

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Monday, January 15, 2018

The Purity of White

At last we got some snow.
Of course, we can always use more!
The forest behind our house looks pristine dressed in white.

 On touring skis, sounds are muted as I break trail:
branches click in the wind
skis sing through new powder
poles scratch into the surface
breath huffs and puffs into icy air
heart beats a regular rhythm

fox tracks form a necklace on the trail

Animal tracks etch the snow.
I read the marks and stay watchful.
Squirrel, rabbit, fox, coyote, porcupine, deer, and moose wander in search of food.
My tracks crisscross theirs to add another chapter to the story.

The hues of winter change with light and shadow.

I pass a tiny cabin in a meadow.
I'm alone with my thoughts and the purity of white.

mother and daughter trees

The beauty of winter is my One Good Thing today.

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I appreciate your e-mails of good wishes from my former post.
Your kindness makes me smile.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Keeping the Beat

Eight years ago, early in the morning of January 8, I had a heart attack.
I was well and then suddenly I was in trouble.
Unknown to me, I tore the inner layer of the LAD artery near my heart skiing the previous day.
A blood clot formed at the tear and finally traveled to my heart.
Each year when January 8 rolls around, I give thanks.
I don't take my beating heart for granted.
I celebrate life on January 8.

I was thankful when I woke this morning.
Throughout the day, I was aware of my heart beating strongly.
So much has happened in the past 8 years.
I'm grateful I'm alive to bear witness.

I walked in warm sunshine this afternoon. 
The sky was a blue porcelain bowl overheard.
Gauzy clouds touched the peaks. 
The snow crunched under my trail shoes.

I passed a decaying pumpkin perched on a stump.
There was a light breeze blowing my hair.
A squirrel scolded me.
Neighbors waved.

"Thank you for this life," I whispered.

My beating heart is my Good Thing today - and every day.

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