Follow Us @soratemplates

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Weeping By The Water

It's been a tough week around the Wild Woman's  place. I haven't been walkin"  much, I haven't been outside to speak of. I've been battling a Multiple Sclerosis relapse and dealing with the big  bad steroid treatments. They are no fun. They are icky, they make me crazy, and manic, and weepy.

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.

The Jailers

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..."


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!


  1. You call Willie the Wonder Dog, I think you're Wonder Woman!!!  I really enjoyed your post and the pictures, but most of all I loved going down to the creek and seeing all that you saw and smelling all that you smelled!  Made my morning!  Love ya!

  2. Awww. Sweet girl. I'm so glad you got to the woods to play. I know how healing they are. I don't get out in them enough. Rock on wild woman. You're coming out of it, and when you do hit them harder and with a fresh new eye!! 

  3. Sometimes a girl just has to do what a girl has to do to get well. I think you are my new hero. Well, you and Wonder Dog there. I loved this post-your positive attitude, the depth of gratitude you feel despite everything and the beautiful pictures. I hope you feel better soon. Hugs coming your way <3

  4. I cried in happiness for you :)  Love you Gretch!

  5. What a beautiful article Gretchen.  You are incredible!

  6. The only way it could have been a better day is if you and Big Ass had been along.. but then those two wide glides would have splashed all the water out of the creek! LOL

  7. Awe Katherine- you are too sweet.. not incredible.. just a little nutty ;)

  8. I love this, Gretchen!  And you can only do so much.  Don't be so hard on yourself.  But part of healing is doing what you love.  And being where you love to be.  You were born to be in the woods! :)

  9. Jody - thanks for seeing me through all of this.. you have sure been a blessing!

  10. Tammy - you are my inspiration! You always make me see everything in such a shining positive light- I am so happy that the heavens brought us into each other's lives, and made us Outdoor Sisters! You have that special knack for always brightening my my day and making me feel good - no matter what! XOXOXOXO

  11. You would think for all the creeks and their banks and flood plains that I walk this time of year I would have found a morel by now. One of these days.

    My wife always knows where I am in case my back goes out on me. "Great, I'll know where your car is.  Now do we start looking two miles up stream, or down, or out in the woods somewhere."

    The vultures will let you know, is my smartass reply.

    It was a beautiful day yesterday, wasn't it?

  12. Hah! Ken.. I have always used the "look for the vultures" line myself ;) Keep your eyes peeled.. you'll find a morel or two.. I have faith in you! And yes, the last few days have simply been awe inspiring and so sense filling with sights, sounds, scents, with all this " Springing forth of Spring"

  13. <3 Love you girl! Can't tell you how happy I am that you got to spend some time outside with Mother Natures arms wrapped around you.  She is my mentor and inspiration, and you my dear friend are as well. 

  14. Love it!  Beautiful writing ~ felt like I was right there beside you!

  15. Stacey - so blessed to know you and know that you understand how much Mother Natures cares and provides and nourishes us both <3

  16. I'm only awesome cause you my friend taught me " YOU CAN DO IT! " and made me believe it!

  17. The only thing was... I couldn't find our skunk friend when I stopped by his house on the way to the creek LOL

  18. Beautiful, honest, creative and effective writing, Gretchen. Well done.

  19. Thank you so much - I appreciate your kind words and feedback!