There is a healing quality to nature…..
No matter how hard I try, I find myself taking things for granted. Things that I would not expect. Everyday things. Like vision. I’ve been thankful for incredible views, for the ability to use my body to get to those views. But, I’m not sure that I’ve ever specifically said:’ I’m thankful for eyes that can see’. Since September 13th, I’ve been learning to be thankful for whatever eyesight I have.
Cataract surgery: everyone said ‘Piece of cake!’ ‘You’ll love it!’ ‘Nothing to it!’ Infection after cataract surgery is so rare, it’s barely mentioned. My surgeon had never had an infection in 20 years of surgeries. There is always a first time.
That Sunday,the third day after surgery, I woke with vision occluded. We called, drove an hour and a half and immediately began treatment. By that evening, I had lost vision in the eye, and since the retina specialist was unavailable, my excellent surgeon stood up to the plate and pushed a needle into my eye. Twice. The third needle came the following day when the retina specialist returned from Glacier National Park. (Even eye doctors have to get out into the wilderness.)
Since then, Fred has been driving me to eye doctors, sometimes twice a day. We were finally given a reprieve of no eye doctors for two whole weeks.
Wildness has always been a place of renewal, and the two places that have most renewed my soul and spirit are the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and the red rocks of southern Utah.
We packed the truck, loaded the cats into the new trailer, (now known as the B.A.T.—Big Ass Trailer), and headed south. The Needles district of Canyonlands was in our sights.
Mornings of tea and journaling morphed into afternoons of mostly gentle hiking with a few longer days thrown in. Evenings included listening to Fred accompany new friends on his guitar.
These views sustain me. Knowing that ‘out there’ exists gives me strength. Knowing that I am not in charge, that others have their priorities that do not include me nourishes my soul.
My sight gradually improves, but my soul and spirits are immeasurably healed by time in the wildness of the redrock desert. I can persevere.