Blossoms of My Life

Without a doubt, this daily prompt (Blossom) opens so many windows in my soul.  I once read a book entitled The Language of the Flowers that was at heart a kind of romance book, which I usually detest. But, embedded in this book was an understanding of the meanings for so many flowers — “Rosemary for Remembrance” and such.  I have always been a plant-loving nature girl, but this book brought new meaning to my appreciation of flowers and how they mark our lives.  There are flowers for celebration, love, mourning, anger, revenge, success, wealth, and a world of other sentiments.

When I originally began this blog, I was a homeschooling mom with two beautiful girls  reading and learning their way through high school.  I had a small heard of sheep, grew my own organic vegetables, and fancied myself as a budding homesteader. Life was like the snapdragon flower — full with days of  playfulness and fun, representing a hope for children. Every decision was made with the focus of raising happy, healthy, God-fearing, young women, confident in themselves, who they would become, and what they would have to offer the world.  As all situations in life happen to be, this was an ephemeral time of joy and happiness that was as fleeting as the snapdragon itself.  My girls are all grown up and pursuing adventures of their own.  And, it is so gratifying to still be their cheerleader and experience them cheering me on to my own pursuits.

Now that I am classified as what most would call an “Empty-Nester,” though technically my girls still live at home between college term breaks, I have decided to embark on a new life adventure.  I set sail on June 12, along with my sister, in a small car bulging at the seams with  provisions for a summer of working, playing, and hiking in Yellowstone National Park. It is an adventure that I have dreamed of since my early 20’s but never really saw as a reality because the joy and excitement of being a mom  stood as a beautiful towering mural on the wall of life in front of me, and I could not see over or beyond it.   I feel a strange bittersweet emotion deep in my soul that I don’t yet have a name for — a mix of remembrance of all the joys in life thus far, excitement for all the adventure ahead of me, fear that I’ll do something dumb like get eaten by a grizzly, thrill for all the beauty of the earth that I will witness, and longing to still have my babies with me for every adventure.  

Leaving behind a life of familiar comforts and taking to the road of adventure is a grand step out of my comfort zone.  A sense of sheer terror sometimes creeps upon me to think that everyday ahead of me will be totally unpredictable (I may not even get to have my usual morning coffee time.) But I say, “ADVENTURE HERE I COME!”  Lavender is my new life symbol flower, with its gorgeous and fragrant purple blooms.  With its exotic qualities, lavender offers the promise of new adventure.

 

Thank you to the Daily Prompt for sparking these thoughts.

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Health is Relative / Rage Against the Dying of the Light

DO NOT GO GENTLE INTO THAT GOOD NIGHT

RAGE, RAGE AGAINST THE DYING OF THE LIGHT  

 (Dylan Thomas)

      “You are in relatively good health…. for your age,”       the doctor comforted at my yearly check-up last year.

 WHAT!?!?  

Those words made my temperature boil.  I’m only 47, but he made it sound as though I needed to go ahead and reserve home health services.  In all fairness to him, though, I must admit that I was overweight, with some mysterious, unexplainable pains, blood pressure and sugar not high but… rising, possessing the energy equivalent to a slug, and STRESSED beyond reason by my then 80-hour-a-week online teaching job (but that’s another post for another day.)

………………So he did what many doctors do.  He offered me some medication for

  • depression to give me hope
  • pain to hide the mystery ailments

balanced and counter-assisted by medication for high blood pressure, which will most certainly be made worse by the first two.  And, I did what any sensible middle-ageing woman, who did not want a full on medical confrontation, might do — I gritted my teeth and bit my tongue through a smile, took my bag of pills, and went home.  The one thing I knew, however, was that I would not just take some pills and give up on life, so I flushed them down the toilet and determined to “rage against my own dying light.” Since I had no idea which malady to tackle first or how, I decided to follow the example of the beautiful Scarlet O’Hara and “worry about it tomorrow.” I fell into bed with a fresh new resolve to “get healthy” all on my own — starting tomorrow.    

The following morning I was “released” from my employment by a “savvy, all for profit,” on-line school in the name of cutbacks or fiscal responsibility.  I sat at my kitchen table with a weird mix of relief and fear jousting inside  my brain for several hours, just sipping coffee and tearing up my breakfast napkin in a strange stupor.  However, God is continually showing me living proof of his word:

“You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result…” – Genesis 50:20

Fast forward nearly a year and I find that my whole life has changed, and I am truly “not going gentle into that good night…”  I had so much more time last year to devote to my garden and farm, growing my first ever fully organic garden harvest.  My new state of life also meant more time outside, more exercise, and more time with my girls.  I made a list of all the things I had wanted to do or learn that I had never had time to try and ploughed ahead: bee keeping, wild-crafting, chemical free living, wool sheep, painting, English Country dancing, and herbal teas and medicines just to name a few.  I felt like a penny pinching bird out of prison, and I never wanted to go back to the overstressed, face-pinched, ailing woman I had become in my seven years of on-line teaching.  And thus my HOMESTEADING journey began in April 2013.  I was homesteading for LIFE – literally to save my life and help my daughters see a different way of living.

BUT….. Have I truly managed to become the picture of health I vowed to attain?  Sadly, NO.  I was happier, but still suffering many of the ailments of a poorly tended life. I had managed to rid myself of seasonal allergies, but not much else had changed.  At the insistence of a close friend, I finally consented to see a Naturopathic Nutritionist.  At the first visit, after the nutrition response testing I learned that

  • my liver is clogging my knee
  • my spleen is loaning stuff to my stomach, and
  • my body scars are preventing me from being healthy.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~SOUNDS CRAZY…. RIGHT!?~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yep!  It really does sound crazy, but I have been witness to my friend and so many others experience such amazing health revivals that I felt I had to go for it with my whole self.  I went back this week for my consultation and to find out what supplements I need and came out with a list of foods I can eat and bag of “Whole Food” supplements that are going to help restore my body to its youthful 47, and maybe even back the clock up a few as damaged organs begin to heal.  So, this is how I “Rage, Rage Against the Dying Light.”

  • I am again planting an organic garden.
  • I will still harvest wild and grown herbs for teas and medicines.
  • I will still shear, spin, and knit my way to happiness.
  • I will expand my homestead this year to include chickens, milk goats, and more berry bushes.
  • I will continue to walk the home education path with my girls.                    AND
  • I will take my supplements and follow the food plan.

But above all these things, I will trust in the Lord to guide me.  He rescued me from a sad life filled with stress and exhaustion.  He has placed wonderful friends and family along my path to make the way even more joyful, and is guiding me on living my Homesteading Dream.

How are you raging “against the dying of the light?”