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, September 23, 2018

First day of fall

Rainbow over Bellingham Bay
I love rainbows and feel very blessed whenever I see one. Yesterday Lily and I were walking on the bridge in Boulevard Park when we saw this one. It had been raining lightly and then the sun came out. That's always a perfect scenario for a rainbow, and there it was. I smiled when I saw that boat placed perfectly underneath. Did you know (from Wikipedia)...
A rainbow is a meteorological phenomenon that is caused by reflection, refraction and dispersion of light in water droplets resulting in a spectrum of light appearing in the sky. It takes the form of a multicoloured circular arc. Rainbows caused by sunlight always appear in the section of sky directly opposite the sun.
 Yesterday was also the first day of fall. Actually, since it didn't occur until 6:47pm, yesterday was really the last day of summer 2018. Now the days will begin to shorten until we reach the winter solstice in late December, and then they will start to lengthen again. The march of the seasons.

I've been through many seasons, and I am always a little surprised that within a short three-month period, it can all change so much. Our summer was pretty normal, except it was drier than usual. Although it got warm at times, I don't think we ever reached 90 degrees (32°C), while I read about horrific temperatures all across the Northern Hemisphere. It amazes me to realize that if I wanted to experience spring right this minute, I could head to Australia, where it's springtime. One of my blogging friends who lives there posts pictures that remind me of much of our planet's magnificent variations.

I've published 463 posts on this blog, where I write once a week on Sunday mornings. I started it in late 2009, and all those Sundays have come and gone, flown right by as I live my life tucked away in the northernmost corner of the United States, in Washington State. When we moved here the year before, I had no idea that I would be writing two blogs, and they have become another world I didn't know existed. I've got a whole bunch of virtual friends who also write blogs (or who at least visit them), and I've learned so much from people all around the world who are in my "neighborhood," the blogosphere.

The word was created in 1999 as a joke, but it's now become very real: a community (or a collection of connected communities) in which everyday authors can publish their opinions. I like that term: everyday authors in a connected community. I follow almost a hundred blogs, and fortunately the vast majority of them only publish occasionally, or I'd have to cull my list. I feel connected to, and care about, people whom I would otherwise never have known. It's definitely an important part of my life.

I took a spill last week. Walking across the street from the coffee shop on my way to the gym, a pebble got under my shoe at just the right angle to cause me to twist my ankle and fall right there in the street. Fortunately there were no cars coming, but I skinned my knee and hit hard on my right hip. It was so intense that I just lay there for a moment, not sure if I would be able to get up or not. After the initial shock wore off, I sat up and took a look at my bloody knee. The pain in my hip was intense, too, but fortunately nothing was broken. I hobbled to the gym and got a bandage for my knee before climbing the stairs. And oh, it hurt to walk upwards, but I held onto the rail and made my way up.

By the time class began, I was sure I hadn't broken anything and was able to work out normally. Afterwards I drove to Fairhaven to take the first class of our 12-week semester of yoga. I told the instructor I was not sure I would be able to kneel, but it was fine. Sort of. Now it's been a few days and the hip is bruised and the knee itches as it heals, but otherwise I'm fine. It could have been so much worse.

It made me think of Lyle and what he and my friend Peggy are going through right now. If a small spill could hurt like that, what has it been like for him? He's still in critical condition in the hospital, now fighting infections and having had yet another surgery last week. I called our mutual friend Linda to find out the latest, not wanting to bother Peggy, who is going through this with him, and I found out that he's holding on, up one day and down the next. I cannot see a garbage truck in the street without imagining the scenario of having been run over by one. Their lives have been turned upside down for a long time to come.

I hope by the time we reach the winter solstice three months from now, he'll be home and learning to use his wheelchair. I heard a rumor that he may lose his other leg as well, but I can't find anybody who knows anything for sure. Maybe it's still too early; it happened on Labor Day at the beginning of the month. I will definitely keep you posted if I learn anything more.

Maybe the rainbow is a good omen, and that we will all have a week of positive news and happy reunions. I can hope for it, anyway. I found this perfect quote from Desmond Tutu:
Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness. 
And here it is, still very early but my tea is gone and my partner is slumbering so quietly that I had to lean over to see the rise and fall of his chest to make sure he's okay. I smile at that, knowing that he would have something cheeky to say if he were awake, but he's deep in sleep. I'm going to get up now, and start the rest of my day. The coffee shop beckons, and the day should be filled with sun and clouds, but less rain than yesterday. Please remember, dear ones, to hug your loved ones (even if virtually) and allow gratitude for all that you have to fill your hearts. Be well until we meet again next week, same time, same place.


Linda Reeder said...

I have fallen enough now that I am somewhat fearful of falling. I am cautious.
I am beginning to work on my conditions that are causing my mobility issues. A doctor visit and my first physical therapy session now behind me, I have an MRI coming up and a lot of hard work to do. I hurt this morning from new exercises. I will work hard also on keeping a positive attitude. It looks like I am going to have to fix myself, and that's not easy.

Rian said...

I wonder what it is about rainbows that make us happy... ? As for your fall, do be careful. I know these things happen in an instant and perhaps there's no avoiding them, but still. However, as you said, it could always be worse. And your friend's husbands scenario is definitely one of the worst. That accident stays in my mind.
As for blogging, I have been doing it for so long now that it's become an integral part of my life. Not that I have that much to contribute, but I do enjoy the sharing.

Elephant's Child said...

Any day with a rainbow is a good day.
I am sending healing wishes for your friend and gratitude that your own fall wasn't nearly as nasty as it could have been. I suspect your fitness had something to do with that (through retention of bone density).
The blogosphere has simultaneously shrunk and expanded my world and I am so very grateful.

Marie Smith said...

Rainbows are always such welcome sights, aren’t they?

I am glad you are mending well, Jan and could continue with all of your exercise. Our lives can change in an instant! We have to enjoy every minute we get! A pebble could have made a huge difference in your life, as strange as it sounds.

Galen Pearl said...

Glad you are all right. Loved your focus on rainbows. I had a delightful chat with my just-turned-seven year old grandson when we saw a rainbow recently. He wanted to know if it came down to land somewhere where you could touch it. We talked about light and how the sun shining through the water breaks the light into colors. I have some prisms at home, so of course we had to pull them out and find some sunshine to make some rainbows. So fun. I gave him one to take home on condition that he had to remember the word "prism" and explain how it worked to his parents.

Red said...

Those spills happen so suddenly out of the blue. Watch those pebbles and keep your head off the ground. always like your Sunday posts.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Glad you are okay, it must have not affected your hiking ability! I am a klutz so I have to watch where I step all the time. I sure hope Peggy's husband will be okay some people sure have to suffer and that is so sad. Chance is a bit better tonight...I was real worried about him earlier today. We are never quite ready to let go ...are we. I think it is sheer will keeping him alive.
We have a funeral this week, my husbands last living Aunt died. She was really lonely and missing her husband. We visited her just before she got real ill and we are glad we did.
I hope you have a good week...watch where you step...and look out for trucks! :)

peppylady (Dora) said...

Happy Fall
Coffee is on

Trish MacGregor said...

The rainbow is a promise!

Rita said...

That's just so sad about your friend's husband. What a freak accident. Thanks for giving us here in the blogosphere the updates. And so glad you are okay. I have taken a couple of falls the past few years and been lucky, too. Virtual hugs!! :)

Dee said...

Dear DJan, your words about the wonder of virtual friendship and bloggerland really spoke to me. I began blogging in May of 2011 and then quite for two years 2015 and 2016 to deal with health issue. And yet despite my taking such a long vacation/hiatus/respite, when I returned I found that my friends came back to my blog and continued to wish me well and to cheer me on. They--you--are such a blessing in my life. Peace.

PS: I am praying for your two friends: Lyle and Peggy that healing may come to both of them in a perfect way at a perfect time. Peace.

John's Island said...

Hi DJan, I took a break from the blogosphere for a few weeks mostly with the thought in mind that I should step back, reflect on things, and see if I needed to approach blogging in any different ways. One thing I'm trying is to come back with some shorter posts. One thing that hasn't changed ... I still enjoy reading Eye on Edge and find it to be one of the best blogs out there! Thank you for publishing such a positive blog! Do take it easy and recover fully from your fall. I am so glad you were not more seriously hurt. Have a good week ahead! John

Gigi said...

Just peeking in from the internet deadland...so very sorry that you feel but so glad you are okay.

Yes the blogosphere is full of "neighborhoods" and I am so glad you are in mine!

Sally Wessely said...

What a rhythm you have created with these Sunday posts! I started following you in 2010. There were times when you were such a lifeline to me as I began to try to live again after my dear Julie's death. To think that you have remained faithful to this rhythm and written these posts over 400 times boggles my mind. I wish I had your consistency.

Falling is scary business at our age! I'm so grateful to know you didn't break anything. You were very fortunate. We just saw our cardiologist today. (Jim had an appointment.) He is at least fifteen years younger than we are and he took a spill on his bike up on a mountain path and hit the ground full force on his hip which he broke. He is just now being able to get back to doing surgery and had in fact done an emergency surgery just before we got there today. I'm so grateful he didn't break a shoulder or an arm as he is such a gifted and dear surgeon. Like I said, these falls can change so many things for us. Be careful out there.

You've been on my mind a lot lately. I think of our fall days on Vashon and get a bit misty eyed. I'd love to see you again. See you in the blogosphere next week. Hugs. Take care.

Glenda Beall said...

`I am glad you did not break anything and you are feeling better. I am so afraid of falling and breaking a bone. But I am careful and don't walk outdoors as you do.
My sympathy to Peggy and Lyle. I hope he can get well. Sorry for you that your friends are suffering. I have a good friend who is in Hospice now and another friend who has just been told he has advanced lung cancer. This time of life, so man are leaving us. Love your blog.

Mage said...

Yes, and tell them you love then. Hugs from here. Hope your hip and knee continue fine.