Unshared joy is an unlighted candle. Spanish Proverb
My life became unhinged a week ago, as did my husband Cam’s. I arrived home from the airport at midnight, as Friday was tipping into Saturday, after a fabulous eight days with kids and grandkids in Moscow, Idaho. I wasn’t blindsided. I had found out in Minneapolis at the airport. It was a phone message from Cam that had alerted me that there had been a tumble. While snowbiking, he had tried to stop before an icy incline and pressed his foot, not into snow or dirt or stone, but, instead, into the lightness of air, and that’s when he became unhinged. He lost his grounding, and, instead, flew, bike and all, over the trail’s side, and after a flight that seemed doomed from the get-go, he landed again six feet below, on very large, very hard rock. His left hip area took the full impact of the fall. And somehow, with his biking buddy for support, as dusk turned into dark and temperatures plummeted into the teens, he hobbled himself the half mile or more out to his car, using his precious snow bike as walker, and then, while I spoke to him on the phone, he was driving himself the eighteen miles home to Ishpeming. When I entered our house three hours later, I found him upstairs in our bed wide awake and I think a little scared. I knew that I was scared. It is scary to have your world, your very way of being, unhinged. Somehow, we got him down the thirteen stairs, through the hallway, out the garage door, over to the passenger side of his car, and to the local hospital. It was hours later, at the Regional Hospital, that he had the surgery, and the addition of rod and pins that now give strength to a left femur bone that wasn’t made for such a flight.
So, that’s our personal story of lives unhinged, uprooted, schedules thrown into the abyss, new waters to navigate. Cam will be fine. The doctors, nurses, staff all told him that he’ll be on that bike again in no time. And yet, our week has felt wobbly and new, discombobulating, unhinged. At first, this was all very personal. And then, it became global, for all of us, as day by day by day, more of what we have found familiar and comfortable and fun has been taken away temporarily. It is a new place we are navigating. We are unhinging for the common good. So what do we do? How do keep ourselves safe and sane and soulful during this time? Friday felt especially challenging as the personal and the global mingled, as I helped Cam with his needs and appointments, as I took heed of the changing cultural climate and decided to give Joy Center a pause during this time. The day slipped away without any of the things that usually feed my spirit. Or so I thought until I texted friends at bedtime. “I need to find my joy again,” I said. “It is my usual set point.” And then I listed them, five things on this challenging day that watered something inside me. Surprisingly, it wasn’t that hard to do. There was the piping hot chaga tea when I was chilled to the bone and the smiles I shared with my friends at Globe Printing and the new haircut from the day before that was zippy even when I was not. And there was the Ametrine geode that I have been saving for, one large enough to sit on our living room floor and cast its beauty and high vibration throughout our house. In the chaos of the day, I almost had forgotten about this amazing crystal.
So that’s our challenge. In the midst of the rescheduling, in the throes of discombobulation, in the new world we find ourselves, they are still there, the many seeds of joy to water. Yours will be personal. Pay attention; water those seeds with your self-love, and they will thrive. I know they will! I send my wholehearted love to each one of you, and, as I do so, I feel it, my inner joy garden smiling.