Thursday, April 19, 2007

Nature's Gifts

I wrote this yesterday:

I love Spring, yet, I find something inspiring within all of the Seasons, except Winter, and even Winter can have it's moments. But, the months filled with warmth and sunshine, are by far, the best. I love the warm days, and the cool nights of Spring and Autumn, I love the flashy, lush, explosion of color and life in the heat of the first flush of Summer.....granted, the mid-July to mid-August days of summer in the Midwest do leave me desiring the cool mornings and evenings of Fall. But, oh, the sunshine of Summer! I need the sun, I revel in the feel of the heat of it sinking deep within my skin, into my very sinews and bones.
(I kind of ignore the fear of melanoma)

Thus, of late, I have been allowing my eyes to wander on my morning drives to work, and those back home again. Reveling in the enormity of the changes in nature that seem to occur overnight. The Tulips, Daffodils, Hyacinths, Crocuses, the Lily of the Valley, seeming to appear and bloom overnight. The Forsythia bushes shouting out their beauty in their blazing golden yellow glory. The (purple) Redbud trees all abloom. The incredible shades of green that are appearing before my very eyes.......each year, I notice anew, the variety of greens, I am not sure there are even enough color words to describe the full spectrum of greeness. This beauty, that nature accords us with. Emerald, Seafoam, Avocado, Lime, Evergreen, Olive, Peagreen, Forest......and so many more.

Green, the spring greening of nature. Green, a color of renewal, of change, it gives an infusion of life to us all. During my drives, as my gaze follows the flow of trees greening along the riverbanks, the diffusiveness of the leaves on the various tree species, I am continually, in awe at the beauty of our world. I may not love living in the flatlands of the prairie, I always feel as if I have come home, when in the mountains, but there is a beauty here. I am lucky, I live near two rivers, I pass wetlands, I pass acres of prairie, I witness the new young of wildlife, and domesticated animals daily. The farm pastures I pass by, are full of the dancing and skipping of calves, foals, and lambs. My barn has several new litters of kittens inhabiting it. As I walk along the night darkened, streets of the small town near me, I hear the wetland noises of toads, and spring peepers. My morning drive is filled with the sight of Pheasants, Cardinals, Robins, Bluebirds, Geese, and Hawks soaring.

When life seems too much, when my emotions seem to be running on high, and then plummet unexpectedly to the lowest of the low, in what seems to be a blink of an eye. I allow my gaze to wander, allowing the beauty of our natural world to send small fingers of joy radiating through me, when I allow myself to truly see.....what is wrought upon our world.....these are times, when serenity is allowed to enter me, allowed to soothe me, allowed to inspire me with the feeling, that no matter how bad things seem, there is another day, and each day has moments of joy. Not a big, THIS IS A MOMENT TO ENJOY MOMENT.... they are rather small ones really.....but each small infusion, is uplifting, life giving, when I allow myself to see it, to feel it.

Yes, it was a warm, full of sunshine day here in the Midwest, and, I took the time to really see it.

Then today:

I had to take a longer drive, it was an enjoyable drive, in many ways, the scenery was breathtaking, even on the return trip, I drove through a portion of a thunder storm, and the rapid darkening of the skies, the rain hitting the windows, the wind blowing, were again a wonderful sign of the wonder of our world.

But, my thoughts were also distracted. I was on the strangest kind of high, at least in retrospect that is what it seems like. I had to make a home visit today. I have a client who is dying, it is not even easy to write of what he is dying of, he has four different deadly illnesses battling away at his body. His family is exhausted, they have been caring for him in their home for over six months, there are three of them, there and ready to give aid to him, regardless of the hour. They are all so very exhausted, on the verge of a meltdown. It was palpable in the very air of the home, how stressed they all are. Yet he is not the only one who is ill, his wife battled and won against breast cancer, she is currently suffering from a debilitating lung disease, his niece (another caregiver) cares for her own child, who has Spina Bifida, another caregiver has diabetes, heart disease, and the associated problems that go along with those illnesses.

In recent months, they have been receiving four hours a week of respite, from an outside home health agency. It has helped a small amount, but not nearly enough. Today, I was able to offer them more, to give them aid financially, as well as additional hands, if a hospice service decides the client is ill enough (dying) to come into the home.

Thus my high, there I was, in this home filled with sadness, exhaustion, and grief, and I was able to offer them more, because, their loved one is dying. I was on a high, because, most of the time, I have to turn people down, because, they are not sick enough, they are not the right age, they have too much money (though not enough to fill their needs). I could actually give, because someone is sick enough! How sad that is to me. It is wonderful that the services are available, but, one has to be close to death's door, or crossing the threshold before they can be offered help.

Anyway, that is not really the reason I was distracted in my thought processes. It was due to my thinking about, the nature of how illnesses, accidents, disease, disaster, seem to befall some people, they are deluged with it/them. Why?

What is it, what causes that?

I cannot count, the number of times, I have looked at the lives I have observed, like the family I have described, and I think....."I am so lucky."

Is it luck? There doesn't seem to be a rhyme or reason to define why some are deluged, and some are not. They are not bad people, they are not good people, they are just people, all different, from all walks of life.

I cannot help but make comparisons, to the life I lead, and to theirs. We are no different, I have the same vices as many, the same faults, the same fears, the same joys, some are filled with faith, some are not. Some are hopeless, some forever full of hope.

What is different about them? What is it that befalls them, why them, and not me?

Perhaps, it is the very nature of my career choice, that I see so much more of it, whereas many other people, just go along living their lives, and, do not see the vast differences in people, and what heartaches are experienced.

Nature gives, nature takes........just life I guess.


Fiona said...

We don't have a huge amount of nature to observe here, and oft times I can only track the changing seasons from the angle of the sun where it strikes neighbouring towers of glas and chrome.

That and the humidity in the air.

But what really struck me about this post is how thankful I am for you, and people like you Sunny, who are the catalysts for good things to happen in the lives of people who aren't celebrating too much goodness. It must be the most amazing feeling to go home at the end of the day and feel those emotions you described.

It takes special people to be able to deal day in and day out with events which leave people and families so vulnerable. You do an amazing job my wonderful woman.

Big hugs for my dear, dear friend.

The Savage said...

With a small amount of hope, the freak cold weather has passed and we won't have to worry about it until late fall on into winter. It has been very nice as of late. Though I doubt we will se any pretty bloms on the trees as that freak cold snap took them all....

It is quite nice that you can help these people out.
I have friends and family who had need help at various times but didn't meet the qualifying factors. My mother, though a veteran, makes too much money to make use of the Veterans Hospital.. Now had she been a man and a foreign wars veteran she would have had no problem reguardless of her income.... sigh

Anonymous said...

I am in wine country as I write this, enjoying spring, trees in leaf, grapevines starting to sprout out, flowers up already. It is wonderful and restores my soul.
As for why bad stuff happens? I don't think there is a reason, it just does. And sooner or later it happens to us all. It's harsh but it's the way life is. I'm glad the family was able to get more help. I remember what is was like when my dad was dying, my mum and I were stretched to the very limit of what we could cope with. When he died it was a release for him and for us as well.

Ciera said...

The rain falls on the just and the unjust...although we just had a snow storm earlier this week that turned my 25 minute drive home into an hour...of course it melts withing 24 hours.

I'm not sure why some people have it harder than others...I've wondered this for years...because I've always felt that I get the short end of the stick a lot. I'm sure you see a lot of hard things because of your job...I used to be a nurses aid in a nursing was very hard....because the people I took care of, always died...

LePhare said...

We've had about a fortnight of beautiful weather. The early morning so clear and the colours so clean. I collect the daily papers for a few neighbours and it's been taking me longer each day. You just have to stop and look at the wonders of mother nature and this unfolding Spring.

Then it's back to reality, nightbags, dressings, and bottoms!

Sunny Delight said...

Ah, Miss Fi,
It is not that great really, today, was a perfect example, 3 hours on the phone with a man that made me want to sigh, groan, and matter what I said, or what I offered, nothing was what he wanted......I was ready for the loony bin!

You Will have the opportunity to experience a beautiful spring on your next trip to the States!

I am hoping we end up with some fruit, with the freeze much was lost.

Sigh......your mother is a perfect example of the way the current system seems to not work very well.

It sounds so beautiful, I hope you have been able to enjoy it to the fullest.

It is a release for all, caregivers often become ill just from all the worry, stress,exhaustion,from trying to ease the pain of their loved one.

:) remember...positive short sticks....just short minded people (hmmm, does that even make sense).

Nursing facilities are the hardest places to be in, whether, working, living, or visiting there.

I am happy that you have those few moments each day, to revel in the beauty around you, a restorative for you...a much needed one I imagine.