Deadly Beauty

I have been trying to get some walking done to improve my energy level, reduce my pain level and combat anxiety. I blame everything on hormones! We discovered one of mine is almost zero, so I started taking it by pill.

I was introduced to a new therapy. New to me. Dry needling. It is done by a physical therapist and my insurance covers it. Like acupuncture, in a way, I guess. I have only seen that procedure on television. Dry needling uses very fine needles to penetrate the muscles and disrupt them. It is supposed to promote new muscle cell growth to help with the realignment therapy.

Yes. It hurts. But, I am willing to deal with the pain of the procedure if it will relieve the daily pain in my hip and back and improve my mobility. I have tiny girls to play with. Granny needs to be able to do everything with them.

What does that have to do with the picture and the title of this post? I was bitten on my left foot by a copperhead on my 15th birthday. The snake only had one fang. It was dark and the ground was heavily littered with sycamore leaves. I was outside barefoot. I walked out into the yard and back on the same path. I must have stepped on him going out and he was after me when I came back. Daddy found him the next morning and killed him, thereby discovering the single fang. We had supposed it was a scorpion sting up to that point.

The bite itself felt like an electric shock running from the side of my foot up my entire leg. I swelled up from mid thigh down and laid up in the bed to recover with no after effects other than the swelling. The dry needling has moments of similar electric shocks when a nerve or severely tense muscle is hit. So, yes, I am having “snake bite therapy” to help get better!!

I can’t even imagine the pain the beauty in the photo would cause likely culminating in death. He was wary and still until I was past him and he felt clear to move out of the way. The next day he was crossing back over the road going the other way. Still wary and watchful. More cautious of me than I was of him.

Most people want to kill them on sight. But, I was on his porch. He wasn’t on mine. He is a special part of a healthy ecosystem. I respect them. I fear the consequences of a bad encounter. But, I don’t want to kill them needlessly.

Strangely, I felt privileged to be afforded a second look at him the next day. The road is wide and flat and clear and he is brightly marked and large. Easy to see. I stay in the middle anyway, just in case he or a cousin is near the edge. I walked wide around and he patiently waited for me to clear his path.

Two Days

I have Friday off from work. And nothing scheduled Saturday. Two days.  I am working out things to have both days to devote to home keeping.  Not housework.  That should be completed by Thursday’s bedtime.  The activity to which I am referring is more like making things pretty.

I have several projects lined up to create ornamental objects for the house. One is actually for Christmas decorating. I won’t reveal that at this time.  I will have to see how it turns out before I publish it.  A long while back I purchased some very large framed oil paintings super cheap from the thrift store.  The subject matter is not why I bought them.  I wanted the frames and the large sized canvases.  I intend to gesso over them and put my own creations in place.  I have no thought to do a painting.  But, I do have an idea with which I want to experiment.

The weather is predicted to be pleasant enough to work outside. I hope to do a lot of catching up on the yard work.  Every area is behind on care.  I have good layer of pine straw in the front yard.  I want to clean the azalea bed and mulch with the fresh straw.  The purple jew is overflowing its area and I want to move it to a better spot.  Weeds, weeds, weeds. I don’t even want to think about that topic right now.  Yard work is excellent therapy for the mind and soul.

Part of my working out being able to stay home the two days was seeing someone this evening. Someone I love is in the hospital.  I needed to see her tonight so I could have my two days without fretting about her.  She seems a little improved.  I told her I was coming.  She said I didn’t need to go all that way.  I told her I was coming anyway and could I bring her anything.  A coke from Sonic.

I hope my coming helped her. It helped me.  I recently saw a meme that reads: Find your tribe. Love them hard.  I am defining my tribe. Redefining, I suppose.  I want her to be part of it.  So I needed to do something to connect.  She always reminds us that we are strong women from a long line of strong women.  She has to be the strongest of us, though.  Frail, delicate, brave, and tougher than old shoe leather.

I appreciate him for supporting my going. I appreciate how much he supports me in so many ways for so many things.  I appreciate his never giving up on his crazy wife.  My half-baked ideas and goofy schemes make him shake his head.

The walking is going well.   I have been getting some photographs along the way.  There is so much to see and things change constantly.  Leaves turning, flowers, the sky, the light on the water.  Then, there are the trees themselves.  So beautiful and so often overlooked.  Seen as window dressing rather than a focal point.  A frame around the view.  But, I love the trees.  See…….black lace.

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Centering

I was reading back over my summer journal. I have been really down recently.  I know the primary medicine for this problem is walking.

I have been walking at a local track. It sits beside a busy highway. It is a track.  Round and round.  Not much changes in the view.  Even over the course of weeks, there isn’t much new to notice.  I had become dependent on my iPod for music and checking Facebook or Instagram to battle the boredom and battle the distraction of the cars on the road.

I sometimes astound myself at how stupid I can behave.

Even closer than the track is my park. I always think of it as my park.  I grew up in it along the lake. My grandmother named it.  So much of my childhood and early adulthood was spent there.  I used to always walk there.  I don’t know why I stopped.  I don’t know why I decided the track would be a better choice.

The park has an ever changing view. The park has the lake to see.  That lake reflects light like no other I have ever experienced. There is a chance to see wildlife. There are always memories to meet me.

Today was my third consecutive day to walk it. Already my severe hip pain has lessened.  It is related to my lower back issue.  My inner turmoil seems lessened.  I am feeling centered.

I included a photo on my very first blog post of this circle of trees. I have spent about one minute on each of my three walks standing in the circle and lifting up a prayer to Him.  Standing in the circle, centering.

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Lessons

My 9 to 5 has been giving me some lessons the past few weeks. Not bad things, just reminders.  A few months ago I was again moved into a certain position that I generally try to escape as soon as possible.  I have made up my mind I want to stay in it, if allowed, for the next three years until I retire.  The lessons relate to my maintaining detachment.  I always fuss at my co-worker friends about letting others elicit an emotional response from them.  My line is “if you are having an emotional response, either positive or negative, you have lost your professionalism”.  The business I am in requires such behavior.  It is far too dangerous otherwise.  I let more than one someone get me agitated when I should not have let it bother me.

Another recent lesson I have experienced (but not fully learned) is to just keep at it. I have started walking again.  It is still hot and the bugs are still buzzing and I can’t get to it as many days as I would like. But, I am going to keep at it.  It matters to me to do it.  It makes me feel better to walk through stress from the day and work out my sciatic nerve pain.  Better sleep is a major bonus, too.

I am keeping at my house. I got some chores caught up. Still have more to do.  I want to get some extra stuff out of here.  My dilemma comes with our daughter’s profession.  As a second year theater teacher, her prop room needs development.  I have some things for the prop room stacked up ready to deliver.  But, she lives an hour and a half away.  So, I just keep piling and moving the piles.  I will keep at it until I get things delivered to her.

This past weekend, we were blessed to participate in the Beth Moore simulcast at our church. I read her latest book, Audacious, last month. I am reminded again to keep at developing my relationship with Him.  I am not a holy roller at all.  I deeply love Christ.  I am a born-again believer.  But, I am a work in progress.  I can’t imagine how bad I would be if not for the tempering of the Holy Spirit.  I am pretty rough even with His influence.  It’s not about me, though. It is about Him and His love for me.  It is about Him using me to love others for Him when they can’t see Him.  I wish I was better at it.  I wish I wasn’t so easily agitated by some things.

I have a few other lessons I am trying to teach myself. I hope he can be patient with me while I work out some more of them.  Most of the time he notices without comment.  I have to be careful to not take the lack of comments as disapproval.  Sometimes he does comment.  I have to be careful to not take the input of comments as disapproval. He is the one with whom I always want to have a positive emotional reaction.  But, I am shy when it comes to him.  I am still afraid of disappointing him.  That seems silly considering how many years we have been married and how well he knows me.

I will keep at it. Learning and growing and maturing.  Like our bull pines, I will have to weather more storms and drop limbs from time to time.  Living and thriving means I will need to keep at my lessons.  Some I will learn the first time through.  Others will take many tries to learn.  Still others will require I keep at it till He calls me home.

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