Nearly every night for the past week I’ve gone late to the garden, watering as the night falls. Lingering until it’s nearly too dark to see my way out. Every moment that I’m there I’m afraid–mostly because of the little beasties that come out in the dark, but also afraid of other hazards. Like two nights ago, I purposefully placed my chair on the site where my leg was punctured. I sat there thinking about how scary that was, how scary the ensuing two months have been, how scared I am that my doctors still can’t agree on how to proceed from here. I let that fear fill me as I sat, and then let it fade away as the night grew progressively darker.
Tonite as I stood alone in the garden, leaning in the wooden fencerail and telling myself that the rustling in the bushes was just a big furry moth, I saw movement out of the corner of my eye and knew that I wasn’t alone.
It was the largest coyote that I’ve seen–heavy and full-coated. Nothing like the skinny creatures that I typically see in our neighborhood. I wondered if he was the reason that the bunny population is slim this year and two neighbor cats have recently gone missing. He paid no attention to me, but was intent on moving quickly down the service road that accesses the garden area.
I stood there awhile longer, mentally reviewing recent events. I thought of last night, sitting in Bonny’s porch and chatting by candlelight with some of my dearest friends as I watched the ocean mist roll in (what a lucky girl to live so close to the beach!). We had talked about our recent read of Three Cups of Tea and mused on the courage it took to risk one’s life and resources for the love of children half a world away. Then I thought about my frustration this afternoon after my doctor appointment. How my leg throbbed during the drive there and back in rush-hour traffic and how that feeling was exacerbated by every doc that I saw having an entirely different (and contradictory) opinion on my woundsite. Wondering if the medical system has failed me or am I just not asking the right questions?
My thoughts then turned to happenings after the doctor visit. How CatGirl and I had stopped at a craft store to buy a bit of yarn for some projects and I came up (again) empty-handed in my search for a turquoise bead to center this necklace that I’ve been dreaming about. We arrived home to the pleasure of two packages on the front porch and a friend waiting to chat. He was bearing a slim book on my favorite topic.
I spent the next hour unloading some of my frustrations about my doctor visit as we discussed faith and fear. I am afraid to travel to my sister’s wedding this weekend with so much unresolved about my health. But, as he reminded me, this won’t be Denver and me sitting feverish and sore and scared in a hotel room by myself. Nor will it be me breaking down in tears as I face down the TSA dimwits alone.
As I have learned time and time again over the past few years, life is about overcoming fear. It is standing at the garden gate and waiting for the moon to rise even when every part of your body wants to run to somewhere safer. It is explaining your story to yet another doctor as she puzzles through your chart and tries to make sense of it all. It is knowing that there are coyotes and cancers lurking out there in the dark night.
Those two packages that were waiting for me on my porch? One was a box full of dark chocolate and Summertime tea from some dear friends that I’m acquainted with through the magic of the Internet. The other was filled with beads, including a turquoise lozenge that is nearly exactly what I’ve been imagining (along with a postcard note reminding me of an unforgettable day spent in Concord not too long ago).
Catgirl and I brewed some rose-colored tea and nibbled chocolate and spread out our beadmaking supplies under the light of a lamp on the kitchen table. We giggled and dreamed and created together. Filling the gap left by fear.