I know, I know.
The thing is, I just can't let go of September yet.
I bet you're expecting my typical rant about what's ahead... darkness, wind, ice, snow. NOVEMBER. But that's not where I'm going. (Well, technically, I am going there -- we all are -- just not in this blog post!)
Spring is usually the time for renewal, but right now it's fall, and I tell you there’s a growth spurt going on. Life is busier than it's been for the past 3 years! Even as the leaves drift to the ground, my branches burst and spread. Sometimes in the unlikeliest places...
“Above the knee,” I answer tentatively.
In the next two minutes, I learn her name is Cassandra. She tells me she’s been an amputee for over 20 years. I tell her my injury happened less than a mile from this gas station. Then we talk some more.
The spark of September.
|It's Susan's birthday, too...|
Days pass quickly. Evening creeps in earlier and earlier. There's a trip to the beach, a hike in the woods. A party with new friends in my apartment building.
Branches veer off, tracing curvy paths into the sky.
Then Mom and I drive to visit friends Mo and Arnold, from the Amputee Coalition Conference. Rob, my peer mentor, surprises us there. He hasn't seen my mom since our shell-shocked hospital days! The five of us have so many stories to share, it's like we've known each other for a lifetime.
Crisp, rippled leaves litter the road. Each step is a feat of its own, yet we take 10,560 of them -- a 2-mile journey in all!
|And yes, we obey the speed limit. By a long shot!|
September rolls on. Each night, I fall into bed exhausted. But it's worth it. This year, instead of down-sliding, each new spark ignites me with energy. Gives me the momentum I need to glide over bumps in the road.
Yet without my injuries, I wouldn't have met many of the people who now fill up my life. The daily victories wouldn't feel so victorious. I wouldn't be able to recognize each sunny, healthy moment as the gift that it truly is.
How can something built of immeasurable PAIN seem like a BLESSING in some ways, too?
Call it a bike ride epiphany -- it captures my feelings perfectly:
As I was gritting at the headwind on my bike commute this morning, all of a sudden that same headwind brought me the most delightful chocolate aroma.... Ah, sometimes the thing that challenges you the most brings you just what you need (or at least a little bit of aromatherapy).
Whatever it is, it keeps my branches growing.
As I blow out my candles this year, there's not much left to wish for -- except maybe 12 more months like this one.
Thank you September, and everybody.
My tank is full...
When you have a month like this, you've just gotta celebrate :)
Click here to watch the video.