Virginia Woolf once wrote, ”Consider how common illness is how tremendous the spiritual change that it brings, how astonishing, when the lights of health go down, the undiscovered countries that are then disclosed what wastes and deserts of the soul a slight attack of influenza brings to view, what precipices and lawns sprinkled with bright flowers a little rise of temperature reveals, what ancient and obdurate oaks are uprooted in us by the act of sickness…..”
I have indeed been uprooted physically and emotionally by these past three months of back pain. Where is my old life? When will I be able to garden again, pick up my grand-daughters, regain a sense of sustained vitality? I have wondered, is this the new normal, a new yet circumscribed life? And then, the thought occurs, is this forced convalescence all bad? The ability to sit silently, identify, and watch the birds at the fountain or at the feeder brings such joy and has much to recommend. The time (before only stolen moments from endless days of busyness) to read and consider, write without hurry, to work with my hands and mind fully engaged, in essence to follow my inspiration and create......now expands before me daily and I am soothed and uplifted. Likewise, the Orinda oaks outside my window with their strong branches and deep roots, their strength and perseverance, and their ability to withstand sustained drought, strong winds, and beating rain, are a balm to my soul and provide a constant and quiet inspiration.