My life has been stripped of a few things in recent days. See all the red berries on the cotoneaster in my header photo up there? The migrating flocks of cedar waxwings, who made their first appearance here on December 16, have stripped them for sustenance on their winter voyage to Mexico. I rejoice in the fact that my little piece of paradise helped fuel their epic flight from the northern climes to their hiatus in the south.
Then I received a splendid tool last week from my physical therapist, who has made it his mission to strip my neck of the agony that plagues me. He gave me a TENS unit, designed to combat pain with electrical stimulation of the nerve pathways that conduct messages of misery to my brain. I attach electrodes to my neck and direct the palm-sized unit to zap the neural fibers in the musculature with a level of intensity that I control. It works! I crank that baby up to the echelon of warfare and rejoice as it slams shut the gateways to pain.
It is empowering to live in the solution rather than mucking about in the problem. I’m so jazzed that I’ve dived into the brown lifeless stuff in the garden. Hacking away at the evidence of death is a joy too, because visions of crispy brown crap drags at my sense of hope. Tearing it away fuels little jolts of delight as I uncover tiny shoots of the hardy harbingers of spring. Hyacinths and tulips push through the hard, droughty soil in their enduring drive to bloom.
Next comes the Zen of pruning frost-ravaged roses. I have 13 of those, looking like shit in the front yard, yelling “Life has ceased!” every single day since the hard frost hit. I hollered back at five of them yesterday with a litany of “Prepare for spring!” I was a rose-pruning ninja, not a Zen master, because I only had an hour and was impatient to dive into solutions again. Having made the crucial beginning, I will go more slowly today and savor the art.
It’s lovely to be stripped of things that then fuel flight.
|Hope, personified in the eye of growth on a winter rosebush.|