Spring this year collided into summer, like a four-car pile up on the I-5, and then slowed to a crawl as the cars do behind the accident, waiting for ambulances, police cars and clean-up. I passed half the summer in our one-bedroom home, staring out at mountains and water, at eagles flying high against aqua and sun streaming through windows. From running 60mph to a dead stop, I entered married life, but of course, life never really stops. Time only feels to slow, but it's the same clock ticking out the same seconds, minutes and hours as it was before, when it seemed to race like my heart during one of those boot camp classes that tore my achilles and sent me home for months of rest.
Summer came for me, drawing me in for my first dip in the water, at the end of July. From that swim, I pushed forward, equal parts eager and tentative. Hungry for fresh air, for cool water streaming across my face as I cut through the lake, for movement and heart pumping harder and muscles tired, for ground gained on my own two feet. Ten days into August, I ditched the big boot that encased my foot, laid crutches aside, and slipped a shoe on each foot.
Healing comes in small, relished steps.
And who knows, but me, the work that goes into each step - the things I couldn't do last week - the ways the tendon stretches just a wee bit longer, the limp just a little less, the swelling longer in coming, the movement of toes and ankle regained in tiny victorious battles, the almost imperceptible return of muscle to atrophied leg. This is my summer this year, and I reach out to receive it, as it is, the best I can. The memories this summer are not in zip-lining and kayaking in Kauai, hiking many stunning trails near our home, canoeing in Ross Lake among the Northern Cascades, competing in triathlons, exploring the island in my running shoes or on a road bike. The memories are these, fleck of movement stacked upon fleck of movement, so that if I weren't already slowed down to a crawl, I would pass by them altogether, like the towns populated with sixty people, passed through on route to bigger destinations.
* Joining the talented community today with Just Write, over at Heather King's blog.