…I have not been writing. Here or anywhere else. . It would be easy to blame my lack of creativity on outside events like work,school, sports schedules, funerals, car disrepair, or financial upheaval. But that is a cop-out. I should not be waiting for inspiration, I should be seeking it out actively in the routine, the mundane, the ordinary. Instead of letting life kill my inspiration I should be looking closer at the world around me.
See, I have officially entered the Post Cancer Stage. And look at me–I am fine. Just fine. But fine is so boring. No one aspires to be “fine”. If they did you certainly wouldn’t hang out with them. Unfortunately what comes along with “fine” is a settling into routine. Somehow between driving to soccer and hockey, filling out PTO forms, and making dinner I have forgotten about how precious life seemed 2 years ago when I thought it might be stolen from me. I have lost my edge and though I desperately want it back, I certainly don’t want to go back to the days of cancer and chemo. I have met people over the years who need that edge constantly. These people can’t handle the ordinary so they create drama and tragedy to justify their existence. When there is no more tragedy in their own lives they seek it out in others. These people are exciting to be around at first, but quickly become exhausting.
But routine can be exhausting too. Lacing up my sneakers for a run this morning, I was feeling tired and irritated that I had to go running– conveniently forgetting the past few years and how wonderful it felt to run after each surgery and how excited I was for the doctor’s OK to get back at it. But now I am back to running 5 days a week and there is no reason not to run –no surgeries or chemo or swollen appendix. As I left my house and headed up Summer Ave, I was tired and hunched over and thinking of all the things I had to do when I got home. A hotter, more humid than usual Autumn day today, I started to feel the weight of the past few weeks heavy on my shoulders.
Right when I was thinking I would turn around and go home, an incredibly refreshing breeze blew straight at my face. It was perfect, not too strong as to impede my forward motion but strong enough to cool me off. I continued my run and it seemed every time I got really hot this breeze blew at me. As if I were running behind a flatbed truck with an industrial fan set on 4 minute intervals. Eventually I anticipated these breezes and stood up straighter to catch the full effect. At one point I lifted my chest and opened my arms out wide in an attempt to capture the fresh air into my lungs.
I could have just run like I do every other day and not paid much attention to the wind. It was innocuous enough that I easily could have taken the breeze for granted. But somehow today that breeze lifted me up and gave me the strength to continue. An ordinary breeze. Yes. It’s just nice when you actually stop and realize how much these short bursts of air can give you the strength to get through the ordinary, mundane, sometimes harrowing daily routine.
So I began to think of all the breezes in my life. My breezes blow in as a bear hug from my teenager while I try to make supper, a cup of tea at a kitchen table with my best friend, a comforting voice on the telephone, or a picnic under an oak tree with an old friend. Quiet and strong they fill my lungs with air and carry me through even the most boring day. They let me know that “fine” can be awesome and the mere fact that I can appreciate them is enough to keep me on track. I am blessed to have them and will cherish these breezes with open arms from now on, savoring every one, never taking for granted the simple beautiful moments in my life. A fine life, after all.