Sunday, May 8, 2016

A hike.

I woke up this morning shaky.

I don't know why.

Bixby asked if I had been taking my iron and vitamin D. I haven't. Perhaps that was why.

Or maybe it was something else. But I don't know what. I'd had 7 hours of sleep. I wasn't starving. I don't know.

I was shaky.

I lay in my bed until I couldn't stand it anymore and went downstairs to talk to Bixby, where he asked me about the iron. No, I told him. I'll take it later. I can't take it first thing with my thyroid medication, that damned primadonna that requires an hour to itself inside my gut before I can introduce anything else.

I went back to bed and tucked all the blankets around me. I felt cold but I knew I wasn't. I lay there, sleeping a bit, feeling lousy, all these negative words going through my head and wondering if I was literally going crazy for once and for all.

I got up and washed my hair in warm water, bending over the tub. Bixby and London had gone to church; I don't go to church on Mother's Day.

Oh. Maybe was that why I was shaky?

I don't go to church on Mother's Day because I don't want to stand and be congratulated for my good luck in being able to produce three children. It's just a thing about me that I haven't let go yet, being pregnant post-miscarriage and not being able to handle any of the anything going on inside me and it's Mother's Day and I'm literally great with child and I don't stand up when the priest wants to give us all a blessing and a carnation. I leave my carnation in the pew. I hate Mother's Day.

I got dressed and went downstairs. Bixby and the kids had put together a day hike with a picnic for me. Pickle Springs. My favorite hike. So we went down to Pickle Springs, an hour drive, and I was still discombobulated. It didn't help that Niles had tried to get himself invited on a Mother's Day picnic with his best friend's family. Was I turning into that mom? Ugh.

We got to the hike and parked the car in the full parking lot. Started walking to the trail and stopped. Looked down. And this happened:

It seemed like a good omen. I felt myself smile at the little anomaly. We walked.

The first part of Pickle Springs is downhill, and it doesn't get my heart rate up. So Niles and I ran some instead, my feet pounding down into the dirt, feeling the roots and rocks through my boots. Oh, this was better.

The hills began moving upward and I pushed. I know what hiking does to me and I wanted to feel it NOW. I force marched that bastard trail until we got up to the cliff side glade.

Then we had lunch and I felt the sweat drop from my forehead down onto my hand, my upper arm. I sat and stared at the tree line, the blue sky, the shapes inside the leaves moving in the breeze.

I was solid. I wasn't floating away. I was here, I was myself.

I ate lunch with my kids and my husband. I helped a family find their lost child (yes, literally that). The ennui had dropped away before that but it solidified further the feeling of walking on the earth as a created entity. I wasn't shaky. I was good. I was quite real.

Walked the rest of the way, which I always think is right at the end when we get to those cliffs but I'm always wrong because there's a trip down and then back up yet again. But that was good, the last hill long and sloped up to the final glade and on to the parking lot, my face all Irish pink and my hair wet with sweat.

I think I probably need to hike more. Like every day. For the rest of my life. Hmm.


  1. Nothing like solid ground to feel like you're on solid ground.

  2. Being out in nature really helps. I wish I'd seen this around Mother's Day. I need to reference it on my infertility blog. We share your dislike of the Day, and various churches' non-inclusive practice of honouring mothers and ignoring the pain of those who aren't. This is a classic example of, even when you were as you say great with child, understanding that pregnancy both promises everything and promises nothing (as I read somewhere today).