Sunday, May 5, 2013

Bouncing Back Gently

Thursday I had my big left toenail removed by an Irish Catholic podiatrist. Having had this surgery before, I knew that the four numbing needles jabbed into the toe would hurt, but the good doctor assured me that he had just done this same thing to two 12-year-olds, and they were fine! Good for them. When he started to stick me with the needles and realized that he was, indeed, hurting me, he began apologizing profusely for having lied to me! I assured him that he did not have to apologize, but he said he did, having grown up with nuns and learning to be sorry for lying. I'm not making this up.

Saturday I belly danced for the first time since the original injury. I had only gotten back into the swing of things for a few weeks after finally healing from throwing my back out, when I knocked the toenail partially out of its socket. I did this on my screened front porch while moving a wicker chair, and I yelled really loudly. So loud I was embarrassed and ran back into the house. I had to cancel two of my dance classes. Lack of exercise results in giving me the blues, so I felt my way out of the melancholy to begin to gently dance again. Just to cycle through a warm up, some gentle drilling of basics, dancing improvisationally to an upbeat song, and cooling down with yoga. Such regular practice is centering, energizing, and strengthening, increasing flexibility and a positive body image. Not to mention the actual health and beauty benefits.

It is difficult when we are aware of what our bodies and souls need, yet we aren't able to give those things to ourselves for whatever reasons. This is when I surrender and offer it up to God for the blessing of someone in greater need. There is a place for suffering in my life, and it can benefit someone else. My faith keeps me from wallowing in self-pity or giving in to deep depression. But therein lies another source of melancholy--the fact that I reached my major goal of joining the Catholic Church. Now that this has been accomplished, I can just be Catholic! There is that sense of let down, kind of like after the build up to Christmas. My daughter is so excited to go to church this evening and have her 2nd Holy Communion. We both waited so long, and now we have our heart's desire. What does one do after one has achieved her heart's desire? After the wedding comes the long years of marriage.

So begins the gentle bouncing back from the dark, cold days of winter. Finally, it feels like spring. We will have flower after flower come up in the yard for the entire growing season. Then the leaves will turn color, and eventually it will be winter once more. It can be easy to take the tulips for granted right now, to think ahead to days spent at the pool, lounging with a good book. Even thinking of summer frazzles me a bit, though, as I feel pressure to decide if we will suspend all school work, or keep doing reading lessons as we have been. Part of me wants to jump into unschooling and flow with the current, while another part thinks that more structure is what we need! Oh bother, as Winnie-the-Pooh would say.

I have to remind myself that life has been very busy, and it is natural to be tired as a result of planning for big days and being physically wounded. Keeping it simple is the order of the day. Rest is necessary for recovery, and on Sundays it is a religious requirement! So I am off to lounge on my upstairs balcony, maybe with a bowl of ice cream.

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