I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my feet the Sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch -
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.

Emily Dickinson, c. 1864

Sunday, May 1, 2016

May Day 2016

Stairs at the beginning of the Rock Trail
Since I haven't been able to hike with the Trailblazers for the past few weeks, different people have sent me pictures to show me what I've been missing. Mike sent me this one of last Thursday's hike, including these steps on the Rock Trail. Going down the more than a hundred steep steps like this would probably have made my knee very unhappy, but with every day that passes, it's better than it was the day before. So I am probably going to be joining the group again soon, but not quite yet.

Carol (in blue in the middle of the picture) takes pictures and posts them on Facebook almost as soon as she gets home, so I anxiously await news of their time on the trail. The weather has been so wonderful, with cool sunny days interspersed with a little rain here and there, that I've been spending those unaccustomed days off doing other outdoor activities. And my knee has cooperated by getting better and better. I'm actually quite amazed that it's come along so quickly, although it has been a month now since I injured it. And here I was afraid I'd be out for the season, but I'll be back before we head up into the wilderness in June.

May Day. The fact that it's going to be a beautiful day and it falls on a Sunday this year means that people will be out protesting as well as celebrating Beltane, an ancient Celtic festival that traditionally marks the first day of summer. I remember the Maypoles that were danced around in grade school days, and even the little May baskets that would be surreptitously placed on the doorknobs of the neighbors, filled with flowers and treats. I even did that one year, and offered my blogging friends a May basket treat as well.

One of the best parts of writing a blog is being able to go back through the years and find a date or something I wrote about previously that I want to remember. I first began this blog in December 2009, about a year after I began my other one, both of which are still going strong. I write here on Sunday mornings and on the other blog three times a week, which is usually much shorter and with pictures. This blog usually has a lead-in picture simply out of habit. When I first began writing it I didn't bother, but now it would feel strange to have only text.

Sometimes I know exactly what I want to write about when I sit here on Sunday morning, but other times I don't have a clue, and it's only the tapping of the keys and the mulling around, casting this way and that, before something finally catches my interest. It's all right, I tell myself, not to have a masterpiece coming out of my fingers every Sunday morning, because I'm just writing for myself. Yeah, right: I can tell myself that, but I'm very aware of my readers, some of whom start their days with my post and are waiting right now for me to hit "publish." It will be awhile this morning, since I'm still casting my net for the elusive topic that has not yet taken shape.

One thing that has been on my mind lately is this pesky wearing out of body parts and having to modify my activities to fit. Many people were dismayed, as I was, when I was limping around and unable to navigate stairs or walk normally. As the days wore on and it was obvious that I was going to make things even worse if I didn't just stop, suddenly the universe arranged for me to get really sick and spend a couple of days flat on my back in bed. That really was when my knee began to heal, and my coffee shop friends, among others, couldn't help but say they told me so. I am not normally one to stay inside, in a chair, not moving. To me, that's a recipe for boredom and a perfect way to make me unhappy. Fortunately, I am not yet ready to slow down to a crawl. And every day I am more and more able to resume my normal activities.

Yesterday I walked with the ladies for the first time since I hurt my knee, and it was without pain or injury, so I was very pleased. This morning my legs are a little sore, reminding me that even a month without regular exercise requires an adjustment back to normal activities. That's another reason why I am being careful about when to return to hiking, because I don't want to start too soon and have a setback. Since I know all the hikes well, I will be skipping the next one because I fear it will be too much too soon. See? I am learning, out of necessity, to take it easier. Not easy, just easier.

For the past month, my sister Norma Jean and her son Peter have been staying in California at a friend's home. The couple who own the home were house-sitting elsewhere, so they had the entire use of the house for a month, but now they are on their way back to Florida. For the past few days they have been in Texas visiting my other siblings, my brother and another sister. I'm a bit envious because I would have loved to visit them, too, without it being the occasion of someone having died. The last time we were all together was in February 2014 when we had a Celebration of Life for my sister PJ.

I can see from my "Find My Friends" app on my iPhone that they are now on the road again on their way back to Florida. It's really nice for me to see where they are and be reassured that all is well. This Wednesday I'll be spending some time talking with Norma Jean and I'll find out how everybody is doing in Texas. I know Norma Jean will be glad to be back in her own home, even if it was a wonderful adventure for awhile. I suspect she misses her regular life and routine. I know I always do when I'm away; there is nothing quite as nice as snuggling down in my own bed after a trip.

Well, it never happened today. The magic doesn't always work, with something coming up out of the ether and finding its way to the blogosphere. This post has ended up being a smattering of a bit of this, a bit of that, and there's nothing to be done for it. The old brain just didn't percolate anything of substance today. Oh, well; I feel better for having carried out my usual Sunday morning rumination, and if nothing else turned up, it can't be helped. I've done my due diligence, everything looks the same but perhaps next week I'll be inspired and you will forgive me. In any event, I look forward to your visits, and I promise to do better next week.

Until then, I hope you will remember that life sometimes gives us inspiration, but even without it, we have each other. I'm sending you lots and lots of virtual hugs and smiles and wishing you the very best May Day ever.


Anonymous said...

Topic or no topic, this post of yours is satisfying. So good to hear that you are improving and that you know when to just take it easy. You are more active than I am, that's for sure.

Linda Reeder said...

Happy May Day. I plan to spend most of the day planting things. I'll be switching out pot plantings from winter to summer, making new combinations, finding places to put the plants I remove. It will be a pleasant puzzle.
Since I have had very little inspiration for blogging lately, I am perfectly fine with what you consider less than inspiring. I guess I should take photos of what I am doing today so that I have something to post. Or maybe I could post about the little physical announces that are plaguing me? Naw, that doesn't sound good. But maybe.
Anyway, I'll no doubt come up with something to post. I hope it isn't about rioting today in Seattle. I prefer May Poles and May baskets.

Marie Smith said...

Happy May Day. We had lunch with our family. Everyone has been so busy it is hard to get together often. We see the children more often than the adults. When we finally all get together, there is so much to say and share.

I understand your thoughts of family. I have one brother, my husband doesn't have any siblings, so we don't realize what we don't have. But I think of my brother often. We are the only two people, out of seven billion who shared the same early life. It is important and I miss him. It is great to stay in touch. My husband does not understand that concept. It is not easy to be an only child.

You have a number of siblings. I cannot imagine what that is like. It is amazing how love just expands as needed though.

Gigi said...

You may have not had a topic but the news about your knee is awesome!

Have a fabulous week, my friend!

Marty said...

You might feel this post was less focused than usual, but I enjoyed the casual chattiness of it. Kind of like an amiable conversation over a cup of tea.

Elephant's Child said...

Thrilled to hear that your knee is improving so rapidly. And yes, some days life is a mish-mash of a little of this, a little of that. Well mine is.
Enjoy your week.

Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

Our conversations ebb and flow. Variation in rhythm makes everything more interesting!

Arkansas Patti said...

Like Marty, I kind of enjoyed this less focused conversation today. I do feel like we just visited over tea and toast.
I am so pleased you are doing so much better and hope you will build up to those 10 mile hikes. Sadly it takes no time at all to get out of shape after down time once we've hit a few milestones and forever to get back in shape. Not fair but true. Train for it gradually but steadily.
It is so neat that your group sends you pictures. Shows how much they miss you.

Sally Wessely said...

I understand the lack of coming up with inspiration at times when we think we would like to create. We have those dry spells, don't we?

On another note, I'm glad your knee is healing. The body part disintegration is so not fun. I went walking this week because I was anxious to get back with the program on exercise. One mile into the walk, the hip starting giving me pain. Soon, I couldn't even lift my leg. I had to stop and go home to recuperate. Now, if I can just get the brain functioning again...

Red said...

Hey, don't beat yourself up. You had lots of great stuff on this post. Sometimes I don't have anything organized in my head that I can post. It's good that the knee is still improving.

The Furry Gnome said...

You're just too excited that your knee is healing ao well!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Very happy to hear that your knee is improving...and I hope it continues to improve nicely :)

Rita said...

I loved the stream-of-consciousness post! So glad to hear you are getting better and better. Have a super week...but don't overdo it. ;)

Far Side of Fifty said...

Always fun to read your thoughts! You will be back hiking before you know it! This rest time for your knee will be worth it in the long run! :)

shortybear said...

nice thoughts

Rhapsody Phoenix said...

blessings and happy mothers day in advance.
Its good to read that you are healing nicely though I know you miss your hiking.
I know you being as active as you are you would not sit around the house but find alternative activities to fill the void.

Keep enjoying the weather

“The highest education is that which does not merely give us information, but makes our life in harmony with all existence”-Rabindranath Tagore

John's Island said...

Hi DJan, Despite the magic not working I still enjoyed the bits and pieces. Got caught up on several things. One thing touched me and I will quote it: "One of the best parts of writing a blog is being able to go back through the years and find a date or something I wrote about previously that I want to remember." That is so true and you stated it so well. My blog has helped me get my photos organized in a way that I didn't really expect at first. I think most folks have photos organized on their PC by the dates they downloaded the files from their camera. The question then becomes, how do I find those pictures from a road trip ... years ago and I can't remember exactly when. But now, the blog is place where I can search for it and usually find it pretty quickly. Even when the "magic" doesn't work I still find Eye very interesting. Thanks for sharing! Wishing you a fine weekend ahead!