Coleslaw Mockingbirds Cloud reflections in still water The poems of Mary Oliver Watching thunderstorms pass from the front porch swing Painting with my sister Fireflies Pink toenail polish When a hummingbird, hovering at the red feeder, dipping its beak in while its wings are a-flutter, decides to rest on the perch and sip.
I am honored that guest blogger Diane Durkee is sharing this: A WALK TO MY GARDEN I see the stairs and I must go down. Where will they take me? What lies ahead? I fear the unknown. What will I find? What will I see? I know I must go down. One step at a time. There is no turning back From this long downward climb. I’ve arrived at the bottom With closed eyes and clasped hands Am I ready to face my challenges? The future – the past – it’s buried in the sands. I feel a touch, a warm loving touch. A soft voice whispers and I hear “Open your eyes go forward and believe. Continue on your path for there is nothing to fear.” I open my eyes and begin to look! There before me are the flowers and birds, butterflies and bees Beauty surrounds me and […]
My gratitude list continues: Autumn leaves: Especially the feisty ones, rimmed in crimson and yellow but holding onto veins of green. They display their nature – our nature – to resist change at the same time surrendering to it. NEPD Ride Volunteers: The New England PD Ride in support of the MJF Foundation proved to be a smooth 50 miles for Team Mama. The route was lined with good cheer, good food, great attitudes. The teams of volunteers providing much heart and help to the Team Fox riders and were probably responsible for the pristine weather. All in all, a delightful day of riding for a cure. Thank you. Elementary School Friends: As my son begins fourth grade, I recall a few friendships solidifying when I walked the halls of St. Christopher’s. I have the priveledge of gathering with two of the dearest of those friends for a whole […]
I stepped in to Lakshmi Voelker’s Chair Yoga teacher training class and Thanksgiving came to mind. A specific Thanksgiving, one I shared with a long-lost cousin. Both happened at a similar time of year, when New England shifts from the colors of a sunset to the threat of frost. Both involved months of emails and phone conversations before deciding to get together. The only real difference was the pie. My cousin and I reconnected in the late ’90s, reviving our long-distance friendship from childhood. We hadn’t seen one another in twenty-five years and were overdue for a visit. Since her Florida autumn remained balmy, we opted for a Southern Thanksgiving. I boarded a plane in flip-flops, my carry-on item a still-warm apple pie. Wedged into the middle seat, up in the air somewhere between home and this unknown place, the ease of our past conversations led to trepidation. What if […]
At the Young Onset Parkinson’s Northeast Conference, I did something I hadn’t done in a long time. Years. Decades. I danced. After my childhood stroke, with literally half a leg to stand on, I crossed Dancer off my list of possible careers, hobbies and even casual past-times. But that didn’t keep me off stage in high school. Tall and not-so-graceful, the musical director cast me as an Amazon in “The King & I.” In my role, I stood cross-armed and at attention, guarding the entryway in each scene involving the king. Though I appeared more often than the wives — perhaps more often than Anna — in my role, I spoke no lines and certainly did not dance. I ventured onto the dance floor in college and at weddings. Two-stepping, waltzing, or lining up to do the Macarena called for so much concentration to get the footing right, to stay […]
A beautiful yoga studio sign! It stands, however, on the brick sidewalk outside the door of local clothing boutique. The bottom of it offers holiday gift cards for the shop. The sign struck me more, though, for the true gift it offers during this rushed holiday season: Breathe. Be present. Enjoy. Perhaps we all need a joyous reminder to keep from getting caught up in the next several weeks of To Dos and To Buys. As a person with PD, the sign’s living and being approach helps reduce the stresses that come with this time of year, stresses that can exacerbate my symptoms. It’s a yogic reminder that brings me back into the moment and out of past and future worries. If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, may many eyes rest on this sign. Enjoy the beauty, moment to moment.
Topping my Gratitude List these days: Electricity. I wouldn’t be typing this without it. I certainly wouldn’t be typing at this hour (3:12 am) without it. Ultra aware of the nanosecond we lose power in a storm, I rarely appreciate the immediacy of light when I flip the switch, the ease of warm water streaming from the shower, the simplicity of a cup of hot tea. Tap the keyboard: internet. Turn a knob: music. Press a button: the garage door opens. Even my toothbrush plugs in. Do I need all these conveniences? Not likely. But living with Parkinson’s in this age of power makes me thankful that I’m not of an earlier time. PD carries with it enough challenges, imagine adding late night wanderings by candlelight or stoking the stove to boil water. My tremor triggers just thinking about constipation and outhouses. (Another listing under Gratitude: Indoor plumbing.) The yogi […]
A student in a class of stroke survivors answered honestly when I asked how everyone was feeling. “Good days and bad,” he said. “Bad ones can get pretty bad.” He explained that certain unexpected losses occurred after his stroke. I listened. I encouraged. I responded in a way I thought was empathetic. In the middle of saying that despite my left-side stroke deficits and right-side Parkinson’s losses, I still — “Wow,” he interrupted. I was about to say that I still have — “You really got nailed!” No, no, I continued. I still have my insides, I said. “Total whammy.” I realized at that very moment how very fortunate I am that despite running out of sides, I still do have my inside. Some strokes leave a person physically capable while wreaking havoc on thought processes, personalities. But yoga can still help. It engages. It allows. It brings focus, awareness, […]
I fell asleep before making my nightly gratitude list. For that, I am thankful. (The sleep part, not the missed list part.) Recalling three of the day’s aaah moments — which is what my gratitude list consists of — is a pleasant few minutes at day’s end. The quick drop into restfulness, however, was a pleasant surprise. A good night’s sleep, so rare among Parkinson’s patients, carries many reasons to be thankful. Symptoms lessen, meds work better, mid-day fatigue disappears. I decided that if I made the list before getting out of bed in the morning, it would still count. Item number one: the extra shut-eye. Next: it’s peach season. ‘Nough said. Third came when the fog lifted. Literally. While on vacation, the bike path I’d been riding the day before turned damp and gray. But the view had been there all along. As the weather cleared, the beauty emerged. […]