Sunday, April 7, 2013

Patching Potholes

This picture was taken for my grandmother, who loved birds
There's an old saying "Life is so hard because it gives us the test first, then the lesson."  This week has been full of tests and lessons.  Forgive me for this analogy, but at times, I see life like spring road construction.  Hard winters force potholes to appear overnight.  The potholes force us to take a different path than the one we had originally planned on--otherwise suffer the consequences.  Once the pothole is patched, the street--or line of movement--will never be quite the same.  Not necessarily worse...just different.

Getting my creature comfort fix
My week started off with my back going out.  I was stupid.  I did what I tell all of my clients not to do.  I lifted a large container hastily by bending at my back and not my hips.  A minor hiccup that thankfully my chiropractors helped me overcome.  Following this incident, I found out that a good friend was diagnosed with lung cancer (the second person in my life diagnosed this past year).  My heart sank.  No one deserves to get cancer, but she was never a smoker so this diagnoses baffled me all the more.  This week also brought the news of my grandmother's death.  She was my last surviving grandparent and had been suffering for some time.  I felt "at peace" with her dying yet felt empty knowing I am now grandparentless.  To top the week off, two close friends had to say goodbye to their pets and I found out four friend's marriages had or would be dissolving soon.

There are very few words that could describe how I felt after all of this, other than "yucky".  I am the type of person who is deeply affected by my friend's downfalls.  I tend to feel what they are feeling on a deep level--something I am thankful for.  Sometimes, however, I need some patchwork done to keep me going.  For that, I turn to three things--my bike, nature and family (blood and non blood).

Gathering with bike friends for coffee

Thursday, as my back was on the mend, I decided I needed some creature comforts.  I headed West into the driftless zone to visit two of my favorite farms.  Dreamfarm, a goat creamery outside of Cross Plains, and a client/friend's farm between Black Earth and Mazomanie.  Since it's spring, baby critters are abound.  Kidding is in full swing--there must have been twenty kids at Dreamfarm, piglets are learning the joy of mud, chickens are hatching and lambing is about to begin.

Dreamfarm on Table Bluff
As I road to the top of Table Bluff road--one of my favorite overlooks anywhere in the world--I paused, looking out over the pastoral landscape that was brimming with new life.  The kids ran up to greet me and I began to take my first deep breaths of the week.  At that moment, a shift of thinking began.  I no longer felt sad.  Instead, I was filled with hope.  Several miles down the road, I got more healing from kids that I had first visited two weeks ago.  They were bigger and stronger now and still just as curious.  There enthusiasm recharged me and I flew home with a smile on my face.

These wonderful farm visits weren't the only things that patched some holes.  A couple wonderful rides with close friends, a bike art show and getting to test ride new steeds from Fyxation, put me in very high spirits.  Add the fact my friend came out of her cancer surgery strongly, and I got to see pictures of another friend's new baby, made me extremely happy to be alive.

Fyxaton test ride
Art in Bike out
I know my path in life will be forever changing, hopefully all of ours will, I just need to keep reminding myself that potholes aren't always "bad" and sometimes they can even bring beauty.

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