Blooming From The Heart

Spring has sprung. Bulbs are popping out of the soggy ground, peeking out of snowy mounds in some parts of the country and the neighbor’s cat has that certain look in her eye. The poets of old tell us in the spring a young man’s fancy turns to love. Since I am neither young nor male, I can’t really verify that. I do know this as the time when nature enters her cycle of new birth and rebirth. Young chicks and ducklings are pecking their way out of speckled shells, breaking through to a world that will astound them. Bears are coming out of hibernation, undoubtedly hungry and in need of a shower, yawning…if bears yawn and probably needing to brush their teeth. Talk about morning breath. Logically if they desire all of those things, they could achieve all at once by finding a nice, chilly, flowing river full of salmon and jumping in. Isn’t nature wonderful?

For those of us who live with chronic pain or constant disease, we are wondering. Do I have the strength to do this spring trip bit once again? I know we desire the warmth of the sun, the cleanliness of the spring breezes but where do we find the strength to rebloom and to follow this cycle again? Most of us are tired, worn, chilled and wondering when will tomorrow’s strength arrive? Our expectations are basic, our desires practical as we search our hearts, minds and test our bodies in a challenge of sorts.

Have we grown accustomed to settling for less as we settle for desiring the simple things in life like taking that next breath, living one hour or one day without pain or finding the strength to face just a couple of hours of the demands of domestic life that are always calling to us. Oh dear, the sun is shining and each ray uncovers a dust ball, a spider’s web hidden by the dark of winter, or a window splattered with the dust from wind and the dried drops of rain. I have found tiny ants returning to frustrate us in the kitchen, flies buzzing to come in at the screen door and our early search for fleas in the yard before they find our tiny Yorkie and torment him.

Our memories can often torment us if we think too long about all that we once could do like heavy gardening, traveling or just sliding down a grassy knoll with our children or grandchildren, laughing because we each have green slime staining clean jeans. Some of us have lost our childlike wonder at challenge upon challenge and now dread what must be done. Spring with signs of renewal and rebirth also bring about a new series of responsibilities to face as weeds pop up, those swinging spiders and spring cleaning. I used to wonder why it was always called spring cleaning until I figured out it is because the sunlight and clues from nature make it impossible to ignore what we could ignore in the dark, cold days of winter.

Each of us have to decide for ourselves what we are capable of, what dreams we want to fulfill and what is important to us. A rebirth of thoughts, challenges and hope also spring forth in all of us, forcing us to get up, get out if we can and do what brings us joy. What will it be? A new yellow rose planted outside the window, a few seeds of herbs pushed into damp planting mix, a trip to visit loved ones? Each of us are being called to stop, review, renew and make decisions. Some will be sad as we are not as strong as we once were or there is some new challenge to surmount. Others are just practical as life moves on and those around us grow older, aging old friends or children going off to college summer courses or new jobs, never to be quite the same children we loved and always will. Other practical matters will present themselves as we see chores we cannot ignore, some pleasant and some tiresome toil. Nature actually speaks to us in the form of a robin perched outside a dusty window, or a young potted plant reaching out white, creeping tendrils begging to be planted in soil so they can “take off” and live the life they were destined to become. A plant’s expectations are basic also. Give them fertile soil, a bit of water and an occasional haircut and they will thank you for the length of their cycle, whatever that may be. Others, like primroses will surprise you and pop up each year, like the proverbial ferns we have growing all over Oregon.

Renewal comes for nature but will it come for you and me? It could be up to us whether or not to answer the knocking at the door. We may be weakened by the many forms of misery we have experienced but are we nailed to the floor? I don’t think so because you and I are still alive. I often wonder, can you scrub the human spirit, vacuum it, polish it or Windex it to let life shine in?

It only takes one spark to start a fire and begin its roar. It takes just one root looking for nitrogen to grow into a plant. A wee babe begins as a fertilized ovum and grows into a human being. I always find it amazing and life affirming to see the power of growth, cell upon cell, multiplying, dividing and building life. This theory applies also to chores and varying tasks. One window washed, one cupboard sorted, one bag of used clothing for a charity can begin as small tasks and end there for this day. Tomorrow brings new energy for another tiny task.

There is a tiny primrose on our back porch, returning for the fifth year. Covered and protected by wilted brown leaves, it waits and is already revealing tiny pink buds showing eagerness to have a taste of sunshine so it can leave its enclosure of leaves and grow larger with each day. I wonder if we have a tiny bud growing within our spirits and painful bodies? Once again, an effort is required by us. Since we aren’t plants, bears or chicks, we have to choose to move, to reach out, to clean, to smile and yes, to be happy.

I suspect each of us have the bud of a dream if we can summon the courage to look for it and acknowledge it. It is far easier to give into the darkness of lethargy and pain than to make an effort but there is life at the end of that effort…that is the reward. Consider it the carrot on the stick and the ring above the carousel horse.

We each must decide, are we alive or are we dead? Can you be a little bit dead? I think you can, but that means you are also a little bit alive. In early spring when I work in the garden, which is really just many pots sprinkled around my porch and deck, the question is always there after winter. Is this plant alive or dead as I prune away tiny dead branches and brown leaves? Is this brown stalk alive or dead as I prune the hollow brown away and begin to reach one that is alive and perhaps is already shooting a tiny geranium flower of crimson red? That plant that is experiencing rebirth is both dead and alive.

Let us agree, shall we, to look for the tiny buds of life in us and treat them with the soil of hope for renewal, the water of expectations of joy and the trim them to fit our lives as they are now. Does that mean for many of us that we will live and search while we have pain? Yes. Anticipation and hope can help that pain to fade. I can hardly wait for the farmer from Washington state who brings down a truckload of the tiniest, deepest red and amazing strawberries each day so I can freeze them, eat them and make freezer jam. The bees and I look forward to old lavender plants with a couple of new ones, bursting into pale purple bloom, releasing their fragrance into the air and I look forward to the tiny basil plants I prefer that look like tiny bushes and will last the summer growing beside a thyme plant. I love fresh pesto spread onto a fresh loaf of French bread, don’t you? I will also pick fresh bay leaves from our large bay tree that began from a small gallon size years ago, purchased at our Sunday market. I share those with anyone who wants them, so fresh, flavorful and green compared to the faded brown bay leaves at the local Safeway market.

We may not be as frisky as a kitten but we can still shake our bootie…well, once or twice. We may not reach out in new growth like the mighty Oak tree but we can stand as tall as our bodies will allow and do our best to strengthen them. There is one thing I know for certain; we each can bloom. The best and most beautiful blooms come from the heart.

24 thoughts on “Blooming From The Heart

  1. So true, Sue! It’s those little buds inside us that keep us going, isn’t it? That sometimes small ray of sunshine we hold onto in moments of darkness, the tiny seed of hope, that kernel of determination. I could go on, but best not as I am still pretty much close to brain dead from the past week. Perfect time for me to read this for that small spark of energy and reminder that even the smallest of gains is sometimes enough for it is still forward movement. Although it seemed so, my beautiful daffodils didn’t sprout and bloom in a day. Blessings to you, yours, and all here.

    • Lyn, hope you are getting that rest you have earned. I know you love performing and it is always worth the price. You know it is even at your most exhausted. It is your light, your passion and one of the many things that makes you strive as well as your sweet family. My daffodils have already faded and many trees in town are bursting into bloom. W. Love, Suehat a lot of cold you have had this year but I know those plants are staying warm under the ground waiting to be chased by Sadie. Do take care of you. Love, Sue

  2. Spring is always the season of hope. The warm sun, the green grass, seeing the babies all over the pastures. Planting the flowers and gardens for the summer months to come. All promise of good things yet to come.
    Your words hit it right on the head. We are full of those seeds of promise. And they renew themselves everyday. Even when our energies don’t reach the revved up volume of days past, we still can maintain a bit of speed and make it up the hill. The view is much better than down in the valley.
    Prayers for your health this morning dear friend. I had one of the worst painful nights I have ever had last night. Maybe from the awful storms we had. I don’t know, but it was painful. Still not very good this morning, so postponing my swim I think, until tomorrow.
    Take care of you
    Love ya

    • Tonie, so sorry to hear you had such a bad night, before last. I pray last night was a better one and today, also better. I had the morning with the doctor for my annual visit for Medicare, had much lab drawn for him and for my oncology visit on Friday. Considering how awful I feel made it a long, tiresome experience and then had the grands come over after school. I had to lie down so we watched an old favorite of theirs, DUNSTON CHECKS IN. Always funny to see a chimp turned loose in a high class hotel. Then a nap after they left then soup at 9:30. Swallowing still very difficult. I asked my internist yesterday how long it would take and he said it could take several weeks. UGH. The physical was not too extensive because he said I had been through enough lately thanks to his fellow doctors.
      I did discuss with them other alternatives for pain but he had already heard about hos expensive Fiorinal has become and we talked about how ridiculous the whole medication costs have become. He keeps urging me to take more codeine meds but….So it’s sore mouth and nose or pain all over, all joints. Since I have had to stop the NSAID’s life has become more difficult. I am grumpy and teary eyed lately but know it will change as this misery of the esophageal spasms and the damage from the four biopsies heals. Rough times for both of us right now.
      Interestingly, I love the two lab techs I see at least monthly if not more and had a good visit with them. Got call today that lab work is all amazingly good except for good old cholesterol and a low B12. Will take 5000 mcg. of it now. No statins for me. No thanks.
      Kids had a great time at Disneyland. Now all preparing for trip to GS’s wedding in VA and DC tours.
      Sure hope that fella of yours gets to come home soon and Sweetie is doing well. Love, Sue

  3. We all seem to be waiting for spring
    Hope things got better as the day grew
    Lyn good to hear from you and your right daffodils didn’t grow in a small steps
    Lovely blog I so can go with it all
    I went to the coast today..didn’t think we could as dh has my cold now….but we did.that was a big step I didn’t think we’d do
    But when down I keep thinking I’ve got better before and surprised myself
    There’s that seed of not just hope but a knowingness of the past
    It was beautiful
    So for me little steps tomorrow as I will and dh be feeling it then and I’ve got loads to do
    But wish I didn’t get so bored doing it!
    Well gonna have a rest now just got back
    I do hope you are better sue I know what Tonie says about the third day after anything….it’s weird .but just get better now
    Ready for them buds and seeds to get busy

    • Chris dear, So pleased you got out and about. That’s how it is for so many of us…accepting and enjoying peace and joy where we find it. It is my hope you see spring very soon. We are having the last bit of rain and are supposed to be dry for a whole week. That will give our plants a chance to suck up some sun.
      I’m still struggling. Sore to swallow or to lie down. Neck strain, soreness and purple still on neck but oh that swallowing. Looks like it will take awhile so that’s that. Sue will adjust.
      Hope DD is home and full of wonders of her trip to Rome. Love you, Sue

  4. Sue dear, More than any of you previous “doses” I can fully relate to this one. I wonder if you realize how much you inspire your readers by sharing examples of your life with them. I know you ignited that “tiny spark” in me today so that I will once again attempt to tackle small bits of chores until the entire jobs are complete. You lit the spark within me because I know that what you say is true. You lit the spark because the alternative is not what we want. You lit the spark because I want to have your attitude towards going forward with life rather than living my life half dead.

    If I were asked what it is I so admire about your doses I wouldn’t know where to begin. I love your rhetorical questions; I love your inquisitive mind; I love your analogies; I love your courage and attitudes. Of course, I love your writing style. But most of all, I love your kindness and desire to give. As I had mentioned once before, you are still that nurse in the crisp white uniform, easing the pain of your patients, teaching them (by example) how to live again; you will always be that nurse and will always be loved.

    Be well and pain-free,

    • Phyl dear, you are always so flattering. I am pleased you find any kind of inspiration in my words and experience. Many years ago, not long after I began to have so much sacroiliac pain, it was very hard to stop me. My sweet guy is not handy at all and is the first to admit it. I wanted to put a brick sideline along our sidewalk in front of our old Queen Anne home we had at that time in Calif. I knew the only way it could be done was with a big pillow in the yard to sit on and I dug out a spot, put in some sand and placed it along the sidewalk ONE BRICK AT A TIME. It took me forever, several weeks, but I found it better than sitting or lying around wishing the project was completed. I also have always been fascinated by the huge loads that an army of ants can move. Feel a bit guilty right now as I am killing them like mad in our kitchen. Spring is here for the ants and I will still use them as an example of perseverance.

      I hope your day to day life is doable for you and you have joyous moments. Thanks for your “be well” wishes but right now, going through a painful period in my throat, neck and chest, following four biopsies in the thyroid. Hoping it will pass soon but told by GP yesterday it may take a few weeks. Please remember I am also giving myself advice when I write my thoughts on the blog. I often reveal what is in my heart and mind at that time. Take care of you, okay? Love, Sue

      • Cindy, Checked out your blog to see what this is that you have mentioned here. I’ll think about it and get back to you when I feel better. Hope life is good for you right now, Sue

  5. Hello all
    It is winter again here in the Mtns. Yesterday we had a snowstorm of whiteout proportions. Today it is cold and high gusty winds. So needless to say, my body is very unhappy. Today I have to drive Judy to town to get her land taxes lowered, go to the bank, to Lowe’s and whatever else she comes up with. So it will be a complete day of it. Yesterday I took Ceasar with me to run my errands and check on the houses. We can go in some stores with me and he loves it. If I am in a hurry I have to keep him in the shopping cart, cause he likes to look at everything . Everyone is always petting him and he eats it up. Then we went through KFC drive-through and got a Go-Cup with fries and chicken. He is Mama’s helper when it comes to helping me eat. He came home and curled up for a nap. He is so active and so much the puppy I forget he is almost 12. And old guy.
    So, I am praying for your recovery Sue from all that trauma. Chris, glad you enjoyed your day at the beach. Boy do I need one of those. I have a nice big horse sale to go to next weekend, so that will be some recreation for my soul !
    Wishing for Spring

    • Dear Tonie, what day out for Ceasar! Bet he’s feeling like a very special boy after his day with you going all over. Hope you and Judy survived driving in the snow that I hope was melting. Did Judy get all of her chores accomplished. SO much driving in the mountains there. Sun expected here. Doesn’t seem fair I know. It’s late and I’m sitting up after eating too much halibut and chips for dinner but so good. Soreness will be with me awhile. Let us know tomorrow how you’re doing. Took on a lot considering how much pain you’ve had recently. Prayers and love, Sue

  6. Hi
    Shorty tonite
    My dd collapsed off the plane and ambulance came and she went to hospital.she had pains in chest.fainted and in and out of consciousness also limbs jerking.tested her. Ecgs and bloods done all ok
    So they said it was indigestion made worse with pressure on aircraft and her shallow overbreathing giving too much carbon dioxide
    Well she came home later and is ok…but I’m worried and told her she must see her own dr. She starts back at work today!
    As for me.the antibiotic I was on gave me a huge rash today it was all over myself big shapes red burn8ng and itching .,I rang the emergency line .she said to stop them and take antihistamines.i did up ,, till an hr ago they were getting bigger but stopped now..but sore and burning.
    So that’s another antibiotic I’m allergic to….I’ve taken it before many times as well. so there’s only one antibiotic I can take now out of all of them
    Well this is longer than I thought
    Sue thinking of you there so sore

    • Chris, I’m so concerned to hear about your DD. Yes, she needs to have further checking. Was she on the same flight with her fiance? He must have been very worried. I do wonder if she picked up a bug or maybe a bit of food poisoning on the plane or in Italy. You know how it is when we travel. Other countries bugs aren’t compatible with our digestive systems and vice versa when they come to our countries. I pray that’s all it is. Scared you though, I know it did. Keep pushing her Mom…to get checked out.
      I also am allergic to all the sulfonamides. Unfortunately they are considered the best for bladder infections. I’ve been able to shake off many such infection in the bladder by a heavy onslaught of cranberry caps, Vit. C and another old her called Uva Ursi. Lots of water or good decaffeinated tea. Hope the itching begins to subside…Have you any cortisone cream or pure aloe vera jel? I also under stand the Benadryl will dry you out and that can be a problem for us Sjogren’s folks. Poor girl. I feel so badly for you.
      Yes dear, still having trouble swallowing everything but especially, strangely enough, thick stuff like metamucil, bread or sharp gel caps like my stool softeners. Discoloration is beginning to itch and that’s always a good sign but still lumpy and too painful to scratch. Oh this life…huh? Much love and prayers dear girl. You go an ER if that itching gets too bad or you have trouble breathing, Okay? Sue

  7. Good morning
    It is spring again here, already 65 at 10:00. I love it ! Yesterday went well. Judy and I stopped for a milkshake at Sonic, and got a free chocolate sundae which we split. So much ice cream Chris, I was almost sick !!! So sorry about your DD, yes she needs to get a follow up and not just let it go at that. As for you, poor thing, I am so blessed that I am not allergic to anything.
    Sue, good to hear you are healing. Much prayer for you friend. I am better today. I took a few prednisone for the pain in my joints, which helped immensely. I forget I have it, ya know ? ANyway, today is swim day, finally. I haven’t called Judy yet, but doubt she will want to go. Friday I have to have labs drawn at 8:30 am, so I will swim very early that day. The wind is even calm here today. Thankfully. It really tears me up when it is blowing so strong.
    Well, must be getting ready and go now. So wish you all a wonderful day. Lyn, hope you haven’t gotten more snow again. We really need spring to stay now.

  8. Warn here today and gives 77 tomorrow
    My rash 80pc disappeared during the night
    But bits came bac today and went ,more bits up tonite but won’t take a med
    Only if the burning on face gets too much
    I bought a large material sun hat today like an Audrey Hepburn one,it covers my shoulders too!not a straw one as that lets some sun thru
    Just right to sit in garden. Or conservatory Don’t think I’ll be brave enough to wear out tho
    Dd at work today stayed overnight in London as she has an early start..says she’s fine she knows I want her to see a dr
    Able to do some stuff in garden today and dh to take some photos for the history society .had a scone out as well!
    Yes sue her fiancée was with her and he was so scared..what a 50th for him !
    Maybe the food was too rich for her there..they walked about 6 mile every day seeing everything and of course wine ,,dunno but worried
    Sue do hope this swallowing gets better quicker than a few weeks , it’ll praos get better in stages
    I’m good with the ice cream now..been on my diet and don’t want it…oh but having said that I had some two days ago at the coast.a honeycomb one in a a half chocolate cone

  9. Sue
    Well didn’t take an antihistamine woke up at 3am covered in a rash again! Great blotches
    So have taken one
    How long do you think this will carry on?

    • .Chris, I know You want this rash to go and I also understand how much the antihistamine dries you out, eyes, throat, I Think it could take up to a week to get it all out of your system…the sulfonamides. Hope your bladder infection has cleared up by now.Take the antihist. as it’s needed. Considering the serious rash you have, but being mindful of the dryness…take it when you need to and keep watching for any breathing problems. Have you seen a doc yet?

      I woke up yesterday with the shaking chills and by evening I had a fever of 102F. Sweats duriing the night and no fever this AM. Just feel weak now. Love, Sue

      • I saw a paramedic at our Drs surgery
        I’m wondering if the rash under my breasts I’ve had for months will go with antihistamine
        Hope you are improving still ,that’s quite an infection to have Was it from the op should you see a dr?

  10. Chris
    I think you need to take the pills until it disappears. It needs to get out of your system. Sue can confirm. I would like to see your hat, you must send me a picture. I love hats, love to wear them. Especially with my thinning hair on top. One of the neighborhood kids is all grown up and has her own salon. Saw her the other day and she says she has some thickening stuff that works for med related hair loss. So maybe , will see how expensive it is. I have tried everything else around. That ice cream sounds interesting.
    Well yesterday it was 80, today very very windy and dropping temps to the 40’s. And of course my body is telling me about it. UGH. DId go swim yesterday and Judy went as well. Glad to see her so motivated to get stronger. Today I have some strawberry plants to set out, mine from last year are beautiful and full of blooms. And I have GOT to clean my house. I have hit and missed a bit there and a bit here, but it needs a good deep cleaning. Get all the winter dust and dirt gone.
    Sue, I hope you are feeling better. I know you are still in a lot of pain. How I pray you can find something you can take for relief. The wedding is soon now , right ? I know there will be many many pictures for you. Is Jim a picture taker ? Probably not, but your daughter will I am sure.
    Well, trying to get motivated here, it is 11 am and I just can’t get myself going. But, must push on. Hope you all have a lovely day.

  11. Your right tonie
    I took another antihistamine and it went.spoke to nurse she said take it for a week as the skin will keep calling for histamine for the rash and to break the cycle..if not gone when I stop then to go back
    So a shorty as although on non drowsy ones am still tired and muscles all heavy
    Interesting about the hair loss I’ll be waiting here to hear
    82 here yesterday but gives it a bit cooler today…not good with this rash and prickling,gives it 55 next week …odd weather like you have
    Hope you got your work done…glad Judy is showing all those signs of improvement
    Yea will send pic of hat….the big one I’ll only wear in the garden. It covers everything..bit to Audrey Hepburn for public consumption for me!
    How you

  12. Tonie, Wow, sounds like Judy is better. Glad she felt like swimming as that says a lot. Glad Ceasar had a fun day out with this Mama.Blooms on your strawberries sounds very hopeful so let’s hope there is no more freezing anything…rain, snow, etc. I’ve been using a biotin based shampoo for years but can’t really tell if it works at my age but very little hair in the sink so guess it does. There is another one I use once a month to get the medication out of my hair…it does build up. Still take biotin 10,000.
    I’m going to make this short because I feel like crap. Two days of fever. 102 highest. I am pretty sure it is a flu virus. Shaking chills, crappy all over, unsteady. I don’t think it’s related the biopsy of last week because no new sore spot on neck and I saw the doctor the day before I got sick and they called and told me my labs were all good, with a couple of little exceptions. Had to cancel my oncology appt today.
    Yes the wedding is coming up soon for GS but I’ll tell you about it when it’s over or in a PM. I’m not going to announce to the whole internet that I’m home alone…Well, except for my guard dog George and a loaded shotgun. Got to go, keep making mistakes in typing.Love ya, Sue

  13. Chris, No I don’t think there is an infect with me, just the flu. Lucky me. Fever went back up last night. I wanted to add something regarding the advice I gave you yesterday and that would be to stay out of the sun…it will irritate your rash and many antibiotics do warn against sun exposure. Hope you’re feeling better and less irritated.Love, Sue

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