I wrote about the steroids here some time back.
It's been particularly difficult this go around - the woods are bursting with all the spring beauty they can hold. My well meaning friends, wishing to keep me in loop send text after text, e mail photos, and call with reports about freshly caught crappie, the first mushrooms, the turkeys that are strutting and gobbling and I was trapped. on the porch. Guarded by two big dogs who wouldn't let Miss Weebly Wobbly Crazy Pants out of their sight.. It wouldn't have mattered if I wasn't suffering from the steroid crazies, I just could not physically haul my carcass off the porch and out to the field.
I railed. I stomped. I pouted. I whined.. and whined..... and whined..
I fixed my office on the porch, watched the birds build nests, the squirrels fight, and the rest of the world go by enjoying these first fantastic days of spring when our hearts are gladdened and lightened by the thought that we have made it through another hard winter. The world was full of promise and I was full steroids and MS. It hardly seemed fair. But, life isn't fair, it's just what you make of it, so I decided to be happy I had a green space around me , could suck up the sunshine, listen to the wrens natter about, and a comfortable porch to work from and relax on while I read voraciously.
|My "outside " work space|
But today... today.. I simply could not stand it any longer. I loaded up the car with all the things I would need; walking stick, backpack, Willie's pack, camera, mushroom sack, and of course Willie the Wonder dog. He's good at keeping me safe and sound and continues to progress as an outstanding service dog for me in the field.
My friends and families well meaning comments were ringing in my ears - " I don't think this is a good idea, you are going to get hurt, you aren't ready yet, you are going to get lost..."
Oh for crying out loud.. I HAVE TO GO TO THE WOODS PEOPLE! DON'T YOU KNOW THAT BY NOW????
|My Prois Outdoor Sisters didn't even laugh at my Jammies and Attitude! They just cheered me on !|
I knew if I didn't get out there soon my head would probably explode in some fit of steroid induced manic rage and I'd probably wipe out half the county. - So in the essence of safety for my fellow citizens I struggled out.
I knew just where there should mushrooms, fat yellow ones, on mostly flat ground that wouldn't be much hard walking. I knew there was a favorite piece of running clean creek there. I knew I HAD to go.
It wasn't easy.. I was exhausted, and stumbled, and I bumbled, but I was also revitalized. As I slid down the deer path off the rise into the creek bottom, the air was thick with he sweet scent of mock orange, sweet violets, autumn olive berry, leaf mold, and damp. It smelled like the spring woods. It smelled like mushrooms. A pile young jakes went scurrying across the trail spooked out by Willie's snorting and snuffling.. their heads turning bright red in alarm and high stepping it into the thicket.
|OH Crap! There's a big snorty dog coming our way!|
Violets, Sweet William, all manners of wildflowers dotted the forest floor as if Mother Nature had thrown living confetti out at a party just for me.
It was good here. It was healing. It was right.
|Thank You Mother Nature..for all you give to me|
I wandered along the creek bank, eyes peeled for the morels that I knew would be there, ambling slowly, eyes down. Fighting with visual difficulties from the MS, I still was confident.I could smell the morels, I knew they were there.
Willie grabbed my pant leg and tugged. That's his signal to me in the woods when he can tell I'm pushing to hard, I need to rest. He tugged a little harder as if to say, "Damn it, sit down before you fall down"
|You site here.. I'll swim while you rest. Oh there's a mushroom there blind woman... hrrrmph|
So I sat. Seems Willie is smarter fellow than I gave him credit for. He sat me down right next to 4 big morels. I sit.. he bounds off to the creek to play, ever watchful.
It was cool, green, shady..sweet smelling and then, the weeping began.
I wept not because I have MS.
I wept because I am blessed to be able to find peace and health and happiness just by sitting in the wildflowers near a creek.
I wept because the woods are beautiful and awe inspiring, and bring me such joy.
I wept because I have been loved and supported by all my outdoor sisters during this crazy relapse, because they make laugh, and understand how vital my time afield is to my health and well being. It's who I am. It's how I cope. It is my best medicine.
I wept because the end of this relapse is near and I have survived one more round and will be back afield with a vengeance soon.
I wept because Willie loves me and cares for me and is simply the best dog that I have ever owned.
|Rest Period is NOT over. You sit. I swim.|
I wept because I am still in bit of a steroid psychosis, and the sheer experience of lying in the cool grass, my head nestled in the sweet violets was so very comforting.
|My resting spot|
But mostly I wept out of sheer gratitude for all that Mother Nature, the fates and my friends have blessed me with.
Soon Willie roused me, I put his pack back on him, and we slowly left our little piece of heaven. Stronger, calmer, and knowing that the coming days will only be better and better as spring unfolds, the mushrooms pop, and the turkey's gobble!