“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”
― Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
And so here is my story:
Looking for angels in the clouds
“What’s the doctor say” asks Lincoln loudly across the pawpaw pile in our busy Spinneys store. He’s filling the shopping cart with fruit and veg – selecting only the best in true Lincoln style. Perfect in smell, size, colour and shape. Linc likes perfection. Why he married me still remains a mystery, even thirty years down the line.
“I’ll tell you later, do we need milk?” I whisper.
“No milk… what did the dr. say?” He’s now parallel to the pineapples, pulling out the middle bit to test for ripeness.
“Shooossshhh man, I’ll tell you in the car”
“No tell me now!”
“I’ll tell you in the car. I don’t like disclosing my medical malaise over water melons”
“What? You don’t like discussing beneficial palaces……..” Clearly, his hearing is less than perfect.
I go to the milk section anyway, just to escape the interrogation.
My GP’s words swim through the yogurt, are the price tag on the cheese and scream from the camel milk:
“Vit D deficiency, anemia and ….as a casual exclamation mark on the end…you’re in the early stages of an auto immune disease. I’m referring you to a specialist and you can take it from there.”
Take what from where? Auto immune? Isn’t that where the body declares war on itself and the cells pac-man each other leaving you in a wheelchair with muted mouth and garlands of drool. Take it from there? Vit D comes from the sun. I live in the desert for cactus sake. The sun shines 364/7! Anemia – in our house all three fridges sprout spinach. And besides I’m not sick…I just don’t sleep more than three hours a night, my knees are so stuffed that every step is a Kilimanjaro and they talk to me loudly, especially on staircases. My hips pack up and pop out, I’m always exhausted, have wet-cement-brain and my joints are wanna-be-voltarin junkies. Never to be one of the three old ladies stuck in the lavatory, before I sit, its scout out to see if there’s anything I can pull/lean/push on to get up. I can’t hold a pen, get my bangles off my arm, open jars, use a sewing needle. My face is puffy and grey and my feet hurt like hell. But hey…stuff happens and life may be a bowl of toenails right now, but I’m not sick.
My reticular activator system scrolls through the scriptures
and stops at Proverbs 18 vs 9;
“ He who is loose and slack in his work is brother to him who is a destroyer and [a]he who does not use his endeavors to heal himself is brother to him who commits suicide”
So sleeves rolled up, I subscribed to an online 30 day Alkaline/Acid breakthrough guide, got my healing tapes together, deactivated my face book account, (there’s the answer to all those face bookers that kindly asked where I went) packed up and pushed off. Sommer net so! Like a, check you later world, I’m outta here for awhile. It was time to take stock, to appeal and heal with the greatest specialist of all time, Father God.
Kleinemonde, on the Eastern Cape coast is where our little holiday home boasts forever sea views in the front and a two river nature reserve at the back. The bird life is prolific and I spoke more to the resident mongoose than anyone else. The town is small, remote and boasts only a petrol garage with a Bread and Milk attached. I didn’t need the petrol as I did not have a car and bread and milk were off the menu – mucus forming dahling! I did check if the magazine rack had a book called “ 50 Creative Ways to Juice Kale” but no such luck. I lost my phone on the third day and my computer crashed soon after – that left just me, my juicer, God and the beach. Not necessarily in that order either. For a month. Heaven came to earth. Cos, sometimes you just need a break in a beautiful place. Alone. To figure the stuff out.
I often get asked the question “Where is God in all of this (fill in the gap _______ hardship, sickness, turmoil, violence, sadness…) The answer to that is easy. God is exactly where YOU put Him. He’s omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient and acutely interested, amongst all else, in the very hairs on our heads. But He will never violate our will to impose His. If we allow Him in, we ask, He acts and life becomes a bowl of roses. The choice is ours. Always and in everything. Myself: I happen to choose life over death, love over hate, laughter over scowling. I choose to help, hug and hold where ever I can. For-giveness, as in pro- giving ranks in there too. I’m all for giving God that which is too big or complicated for me to handle. And so too, in sickness I chose health.
The weather was extremely kind to me. Most days were as clear as God dreams. The air so pure it was nourishment itself. On the groggy days I just stayed in bed with my electric blanket and books for company. The beach was best. Miles of no one, fine white sand and bubble topped waves, that queued and stacked 7 deep. I loved playing ‘going one way’, with my feet-turn-out-and-knees-turn-in footprints making deep indentations in the wet sand. Then ‘coming back the other’, filling in the gaps, so if anyone happened to stumble across them, they would never know if I was coming or going. I didn’t have a clue either but it really didn’t matter.
And I began to notice. The bridal lace left on the sand by a receding wave. Sand art made by crawling crabs. In the rock pools colourful seaweed forests, wafting to the rhythm of a sea symphony conducted by the tide. Black Mussel Crackers with bright red legs flying low over the water in the gentle morning sun. Of course the sun. With its diffused rays stretching across the earth. The Son’s arms reaching out to include all in His beautiful creation. How could I not get better?
I adored afternoon and sunset walks. Round the lagoon and turning right, I found a favourite rock. Thousands of years ago, God knew I’d be meeting Him right there, in that place, at that time and made sure the ancient rock makers and molders had the measurements of my bum. Perfect and just for me! There I sat. For hours. Looking for angels in the clouds.
Fat ones, Thin ones
Dancing, laughing and
Doubled chinned ones.
Some with harps
Some with wings
Some were quiet
One sits and sings.
The book of Isaiah tells me that God gives perfect peace to those whose imaginations are fixed on Him. I got the perfect peace. I got the answers to my questions. I got rid of the deep damaging feelings, hurt and limiting beliefs. I got new life in my bones and rid of the acid in my blood. I got oiled joints and a new zest for the one life I’ve been gifted to live. For that I’m eternally thankful and often overwhelmed with grateful-ness. God is good and a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him.
I’m back in the big sandpit again.
Things to do, places to go, people to love. Simply appreciating the incredibly blessed life I live, noticing the small and all things. Measuring success by how people are made to feel.
Living in the moment and right now I need my smoothie fix. It will probablybepurple because that’s the colour of the cabbage I bought today…you know, those ones that look so pretty mixed with grated carrots and are filled with Vitamins A,B,C and D!