It was Independence Day and it turned out to be a blessed day for me in many ways. Just two days prior, my world was cast into dark storm clouds that brought worry and despair. A trip into town to replenish groceries and run errands was cancelled after driving less than a mile when all of a sudden the check engine light came on in the Jeep. “Now what?”, was the initial thought which would only be the beginning of the downward spin I was about to enter. The repair shop was closed for a four day holiday break and it was uncertain at this point if it even was worth repairing the Jeep with 241k miles. The timing could have not been worse. Oh wait, yes it could have been and I could have been stranded half way into town with a dog in tow and us both struggling with the heat. So actually, I was lucky it happened only a mile from home and I could turn around. It’s called seeing the silver lining in adverse situations and I was usually pretty good at it. Usually….
However, I had been in a lot of chronic pain lately, and pain clouds your optimism drastically. Soon I would have a terrible migraine headache I couldn’t shake all day. I couldn’t let go of the situation, nor my headache. I was glad when actual storm clouds were building in the sky and a thunderstorm and downpour lowered the temperatures. I hoped the rain would help with the second fire near me that broke out only a few days ago, consuming many acres already. Luckily the wind blew it away from me vs towards me, but every once in awhile I could still smell the smoke and the low air quality.
I would have to walk Cinnamon instead of driving her to her favorite watering hole to frolic and jump around while giving myself a break. After the rain slightly led up, we were on our way. The sky looked dark and more rain was scheduled. I didn’t care if I got a good soaking but that never happened. Instead we wandered through a soft, steady rain that was actually peaceful and enjoyable. Until the pain from walking caught up. There was no doubt I was walking way too slow for Cinnamon who regardless of her 8ft retractable leash was all over the place, excited, but pulling and jerking me every other minute, making me wince in pain each time. And then I mustered all my strengths and yanked her back as she did it the next time. She looked surprised and it was a moment that would haunt me later and send me further down the rabbit hole soon enough, feeling like I didn’t deserve her and what a bad parent I was, bringing her to live in such a small place, mostly leashed, with this heat…etc. etc. I cried a lot that day. Mainly for my own struggles and not necessarily hers. For various reasons, all emotions mixed together on this cloudy stormy day outside and within myself.
It’s only two days later now, and the storm clouds dissipated, letting us enjoy a great day. For the past two days thunderstorms were present each day which helped with the heat. By now I had walked Cinnamon three times already, each time a little further, trying to rebuild our strengths…well…mine, I suppose. We managed 2 miles today, which is nothing, but a beginning for me. How many times had I been here! It seemed like I was facing the same challenges of rebuilding my strengths each year. Most importantly, I wasn’t in much pain today and it brought a different quality to my life. Cinnamon was feisty and playful and I matched her mood, except the lizard chasing. I left that one up to her. Today we got to meet two boy dogs in the park and she even allowed a lady to pet her. A big improvement for a rescue pup that is very cautious when it comes to other animals and people. I saw it as progress and it warmed my heart. I know she is well taken care of, that she is loved beyond measure, has a good life and enjoys where she is. The dark thoughts from the other day disappeared and perhaps they were only there because of my own adjustment struggles. But for today, the Jeep, my means of travel to civilization still needs fixing, but life was good and I felt peaceful. For a moment I thought it would be the perfect time to work on chores. Surely they’d come much easier with minimum pain and I should take advantage of it. Believe me, I truly contemplated it for a moment trying to talk myself into it, but nah, I feel too good to waste the bliss on tasks and chores. Let me just marvel in it for awhile and enjoy it to the fullest.