Friday, December 3, 2010

A Breath of Fresh Air

Reverb, Day 3

Prompt: Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).
Prompt Author: Ali Edwards
Memory Keeping Idea Books

I would have to say it was a late April day (not sure of the exact date).  I had signed on to be a team leader for a Cancer Awareness walk in late May and knew that I better start training.  Most people don't have to train for a walk, but I'm not most people.  I'm thirty-three and have osteoarthritis, though I didn't know it at the time.  My joints have been giving me problems for three years, so exercise didn't always seem or feel possible.  But ever since my mom's cancer diagnosis in January '10, I wanted to find some different ways that I could help her feel supported.

We had a beautiful April here in St. Louis this year.  We actually had a Spring (most times it goes straight from Winter to Summer with maybe a week of moderate weather in between) this year; the trees were blooming, the sun was gentle, the days were getting longer, and it was the perfect time for some outside activity.  I knew I'd have to start slow, so I began by just walking down the street and back.  I eventually set a goal to see if I could walk to the Art Museum in Forest Park- about a thirty minute walk.

 One gorgeous afternoon, I packed up my backpack with my journal, my camera, a big sheet, and lots of water.  I put in my ear buds and set off for the museum grounds (there is a huge hill  in front of the St. Louis Art Museum nicknamed "Art Hill" that is popular on days like this).  I reached the hill about thirty-five minutes after leaving my front door and commenced climbing to the top.  Breathless, but feeling accomplished, I slid off my shoes and socks to feel the warm green grass under my feet and pulled out my king sized sheet.  As I prepared to lay the sheet down, the wind blew and made it billowy, like a small parachute.

That breeze smelled of fresh cut grass, blooming flowers, and pure sunshine.  I basked in that moment for a while and thanked the universe for the seasons.  Without the cold and sometimes lonely hibernation of Winter, I could never fully appreciate the warm, new birth of Spring.  There were plenty of others there, too- college students perhaps skipping class to come play frisbee on the hill; families with small children, who squealed with delight while rolling down the hill; lovers who came to picnic and appreciate each others' beauty outside in a fresh, new way.

I laid upon my freshly washed sheet and let the rays of light reward me for my hard, sometimes painful, work.  All that walking wasn't easy on my joints, especially the hips, but I knew that it had to be done in order for me to reach my goal for the cancer walk.  I was so proud of myself and even took out my journal later that afternoon to write, but in the moments right after I laid to rest, I just breathed it all in- the sunshine, the air, the cool smell of the water from the pond below.  I knew I could deal with the physical pain because of all the beauty my soul received in that moment.   

this post a part of Reverb10: Reverb 10 is an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. Use the end of your year as an opportunity to reflect on what's happened, and to send out reverberations for the year ahead.

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