Today I walked to the library and then to the wee Co-op in the village and then I walked back. It isn’t far, but since I fell ill nearly 5 years ago, this is the first time I’ve managed to do this by myself. Once I got back home, I felt fantastic.
My method was inspired by Thich Nhat Hahn, the Vietnamese monk who lives at Plum Village community in France. I took one step at a time, counting the steps 10 at a time (I got sidetracked here by stopping to greet people and crossing the road a couple of times), concentrating on each step. I was very aware of my breathing and realised from reading his work, that one of the problems I faced was fear. Fear of falling, fear of failure. So I breathed in courage and healing and breathed out illness and fear.
I could feel my body relaxing instead of protesting. I realised that my muscles were as happy as my mind to be on the go, instead of languishing in a hospital bed. And now that I’m sitting in my chair, the feel good factor is evident and I am SO glad I went on that walk.
I am so grateful to the care team that looked after me during my illness. When I was at my most despondent and thought that I was never going to get a transplant, they would remind me that I’d be walking to that village some day soon. The seed they planted grew as I recovered and today was the proof of mind over matter. My legs and the rest of my body gradually accepted what my mind knew all along.
I could do this thing.
And then there was the banana loaf. I realised that I had three very ripe bananas in my fruit bowl and suddenly remembered one of the family favourites when the kids were growing up. So for the first time since I got ill, I got out the mixing bowl, found my old “Joy of Cooking” recipe which I’ve been using successfully for 50 years (half a century) and set to work. The result lived up to my expectations (even though I didn’t have any walnuts) and I am still marvelling that I can do such a simple thing again with delicious results. Oatmeal and Raisin cookies next, methinks.
I’m so grateful for these achievements in my recovery and blessed with a spirit that is supported by my higher power. The lavender in the photo is from my garden, one of the survivors of this cold, wet summer.
Thich Nhat Hahn & Walking Meditation