Spirals go on for an infinity as
The rhythm of steps lull my heart
Into a long forgotten slumber of calm
As my lungs fill with an air of peaceful solitude
Sitting on my couch and watching high tide rage against the shore, I am struck by the unease of my spirit given the past two weeks. After what was an unexpected ride on the proverbial bus out of town…way out of town, I find myself revisiting the calm found in the throes of a very close brush with death.
Having no fears about this transition, I am left with an insatiable curiosity for the spectacular aura of the next and continue to mull the events over and over in my mind. The single most important truth being the air of peace and remarkable stillness of this in between. I saw the concern on my loved ones faces, felt the hustle of the staff in and out of my room and heard the tone of the doctor trying to explain how dire the situation was. All caught as if screenshots forged into my memory.
Those hours felt like a few seconds and there is much I do not remember. Of what I do recall, two moments stand out. The first being the look on my fiancés face after being told of a medical need and how dangerously close my organs were to shutting down. A master of calmness in crisis, his face caught my attention even in the midst of my haze and will forever be etched in my mind.
The next being my ride down the hall to an imaging room. All the noise around me sounded like a muffled background and my heartbeat was the clearest sound I could discern. My eyes were closed, yet I saw what I suspect was the florescent lights in the hallway, creating a bright tunnel experience. The peace I felt in that moment was so comforting and I remember thinking this must be what people feel as they are about to slip away.
By the time I arrived in the ICU I was a bit more aware of my surroundings as my blood pressure had begun to stabilize. The room lights were a shock to my system and the loud noise of the staff on the floor felt like a worldly assault. After a few more days in the hospital and a better understanding of how close I had come to the brink, my emotions came pouring out as if a faucet turned back on.
Thinking back, I had two dreams a few weeks ago that startled me awake. One being of a disheveled man standing outside the RV. His stare permeated the walls of the RV and soaked into my skin leaving me chilled to the bone. At the time it felt as if he carried a dark message of some sort, but I shook off the feeling and let it go. The second dream felt the same but instead of a man, it was a shadow. Reflecting on this, it is clear my intuition was on high alert and these dreams where a harbinger of the next.
What a strange and wild ride this has been. This reminder of the fragility of human life is a welcome guest at my table as is a melancholy for the peacefulness of the between. Living this human experience is fraught with more feelings than one can imagine. As they cascade over me, it is the calm I return to time and time again as if a long-lost friend.
Maybe it is because I experience the world as a jarring reality filled with so many walking wounded. Always feeling joy but also the undercurrents of sadness within every soul I meet is overwhelming at times. In this in between, It was as if I was lying in my favorite meadow with the sun on my face and flowers by my side. Not a sign of unease or discomfort.
Now I am left with the necessary acclimation back into the hustle of life. My mind, body and spirit feel jostled to the point of confusion and the whole experience has become very disorientating. Recovered enough to walk in my beloved hills today, I tried to shake the cobwebs of my soul back into attention. Why this melancholy? Why this unsteadiness?
Focusing on the light that had saturated my eyes in the hospital and the feeling of unparalleled stillness, my heart expanded and filled with the healing elixir of love. No matter what happens on this plane of existence, we are all loved. Of this I am absolutely certain. None of us are sure when our time here will end making each challenge, heartbreak and joy a gift. It is the messiness of our experience in which we earn our wings and take flight.
So back I go, into the wild of the world, knowing the persistent melancholy will remain. This constant reminder of the terminal nature of life prompts us to be present, living fully and freely. My choices are mine alone and will be on display in this between for review. Will I cringe at my foolishness or smile in remembrance of a life well lived? I suspect a bit of both