Wednesday, June 12, 2024

There and back again

Rest. My body, my mind, my heart cried out for rest. I was so incredibly weary. The boys were getting more agitated by the day and their irritability with Lochlan was noticeable where it usually isn't. I knew we needed time away from home to just BE. 

So, we headed for the mountains of Colorado. Kris agreed to watch Lochlan for two weeks, and Lochlan's tutors offered to put in more hours to assist him. I had incredible fears to the point of many tears about the potential repercussions on Lochlan with our absence and then upon our return, as he doesn't adapt well to any change, ever. His therapists encouraged us to go and convinced me that everyone would benefit from it. 

We camped with Julie and Lucy in the San Juan Mountains, at the base of Wilson Peak(s) for 1 full week, and then are spending our final week in a cabin near Durango. We visited Telluride several times, much to all of our delight. We spent 1 day traipsing about Ouray, and we did several hikes in training preparation for our upcoming annual backpacking trip at the beginning of July. I found myself sitting in Telluride, watching people, a lot. I've always been a people watcher, but I REALLY watched. No one was chasing, thwarting off behavior intended for destruction, wrestling, or wrangling anyone. No one was staring at me in judgment or with compassion. No one noticed me sitting there, staring; I was able to blend in and just be. And you know what... three things stood out to me. 
  • People are broken and most are not profoundly content or joy filled. 
  • I did feel the difference, inside myself. The constant battle does take a toll, it does change us, it does nurture it's own kind of trauma and we are none of us unaffected by it.
  • We are more resilient because of IT ALL. The pain, the struggle... it can build strength, understanding, empathy, steadfastness. And it has, in each of these incredible young men I get to call my sons. 
And so... in the process of rest - for it has been a process to retrain our minds and our bodies to do so - I have been reminded that joy is not something we are entitled to, but rather it is created from the countless ingredients of life. Suffering, like salt, helps us to taste the beauty, to understand the joy. 

We had a very large bear that kept us on our toes in camp. He tried to get into our trailer one night, then haunted the outhouses, then wandered on the outskirts our our camp, then tried to get into our truck one night. One morning, he just just sat watching me go about my morning routine... he scratched his back on a tree, sat on his haunches, laid down, sat back up, scratched his paws on the tree and watched some more. We dubbed him "Curious George" because he was very curious, but really did not threaten us at all. I grew rather fond of him.  

Today, while hiking along this trail, Madigan, Bumpy and I encountered another bear. She was curious, and followed us for a bit, but didn't run after us and eventually lost interest in us. Bumpy was protective and cautious, but did not instigate an attack. Such a good dog! 

My favorite flowers - Columbine.

In so many ways, I am not ready to go back and run the race, but we have (been) trained for this... we must run. And we will. 

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