The Quiet Corner

Dogs are wise.  They crawl away into a quiet corner and lick their wounds and do not rejoin the world until they are whole once more.”  Agatha Christie.

I live in The Shire.

Gandalf thankfully is not rapping at my door, which at this point in my life means, No Plot.   I’m living an ordinary life, one where nobody is whispering or gushing about my style or my cooking or my flair for the dramatic.  

I need a bit of a nudge in that direction.  Some self impose that by making resolutions at the start of the year.

Hey, halfway through the month and here I am.  Nothing resolute.

I look back at 2012 and think, Whew.  Thank God it was so boring.

Nobody died.  In 2011, I lost three family members in rapid succession, cutting down the number of close living relatives to the fingers on my right hand.  The odd part was that each loss occurred while  traveling.  I’d land,  turn on my phone, then get the message no one wants to hear.  It made me a bit paranoid about getting on following flights, so I scaled back on the travel to just one trip.

The time for magical thinking was over, I scolded myself and booked a flight with my husband for a cheesy Hawaiian anniversary experience.  A real honest to God vacation.  My bags were packed.  We landed.  No messages or texts.  Hooray.  Curse broken.  Break out the muu muus and mai tais.

A day later I received a text with a curious picture of my brother’s condo as we stood sweating in line at Pearl Harbor. I put on my reading glasses to get a better look. Did he just put a cover over his patio? What were those black two by fours? Damn my outdated phone with its postage stamp sized screen.  What was I looking at?

It was the ceiling of what remained of his home.  The unit next door to his exploded and the entire building went up in flames while he was at work.  He lost everything, including his beloved kitties.  It sucked.  Calls of support were made back and forth and I had trouble enjoying the tropical landscape, my mind back in the Midwest.

I’ve been slow to schedule this year’s vacation.  Who knows what surprises will be at the end of our next flight?

In 2011I nearly lost a fourth family member, my son.  Beaten and robbed of everything, without medical insurance, in a distant city where he worked.   The situation was scary and complicated.  I flew thousands of miles to pick up my traumatized offspring and drive his aged vehicle, bringing him home to heal.  I learned new things, things I wish I didn’t have to know. As the mother of an adult, I still had the ability to call and get his birth certificate replaced, and from that one document, we were able to replace the rest.  I got a grant to cover the CAT scans of his head, his neck,his torso, the repairs to his face, the week in the hospital.  I didn’t know about getting grants.  I do now.

“Ordinary day, let me be aware of the wonder that you are.”

Over a year has separated me from the nightmarish call in the middle of that night.  Time heals.  Not my face- lines erupted overnight, stress etching itself around my eyes and mouth.   But the more good experiences, the more days our son is back at work, the more evenings we have dinner together, the more I heal.

I fell from a horse this summer when he shied, breaking ribs, cursing myself for being foolish, so foolish, as to get on my husband’s sweet but spooky gelding.

I didn’t want to get back on after the six weeks of mending. The memory of the pain was just too great.  I was traumatized, just as I was after the incident with my son.

I started back slowly.  Just…brushing a rescue horse.  Leading her around.  Marveling at her quiet temperament and lack of height.  Not so far to fall if I indeed came off again. Clutching my stomach that was in knots, taking a deep breath and sitting in the saddle, my husband holding the horse’s halter like I was a child at a state fair pony ride.

I’m quietly building a small set of good experiences with horses, overriding, if you will pardon the pun, the bad.

I’m in the saddle again. I needed a quiet peaceful place to reflect on what hurt, what heals and how to move forward again.  I needed the respite of time, boring ordinary time.

I’m back at the keyboard as well.


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