in the nakedness...

In the bitter cold this morning I was looking for beauty and direction.  I know there are places that 26 degree's feels like a spring thaw, for me not so much.  I love the sharp angles of the branches.  Stripped bare of their green glory.  The stark nakedness.  It makes is easier to see things that are often hidden.

I watched the fluffy little squirrels scurrying about gathering the last of the acorns that are scattered around. Their little tails full and thick, a far cry from the slender little fellows I enjoyed watching ravage my flower baskets all summer long.

Left up high in the trees were so many nests, naked and forlorn until spring. I haven't lived here long enough to know if these nests are the kind that the Mommy birds will return to each year.  Adding new sprigs and snippets of threads they find around the area. Making a safe, warm spot to raise their young.

The naked branches with their sharp angles, glistening with the thin coat of ice left over from yesterday pulled me into focus.  The crisp air clearing my mind. For the first time in weeks I feel centered and semi-rested.  I feel like I am finally grasping all the ends that have been fluttering around me, like the leaves that were falling.

I feel like my mind is clear.  The worry and concern for Hubby is ebbing, I can see that he is on the mend. Each day I see improvement.  Today he even dressed himself in long pajama's not the short ones that were easy to slip on.  It's sort of quiet right now while he's upstairs.  I can hear the drone of the show he's watching, but I couldn't tell you what it is.  I am feeling better about leaving him alone, that day is rapidly approaching.

He doesn't have those creases around his eyes from pain.  I can see a more relaxed look in his eyes.  The uncertainty that we were living with is gone.  It was terrible to watch someone you love so much suffering and getting a different answer as to the cause so many times.  From the response of both PT's I now know that it is highly unusual for a hip to start hurting and reach the point of needing replacement in less than a year. Maybe if the original doctor hadn't thought it was just bursitis and ignored it... ah who knows... but in the naked light of the early winter it's all okay.  He is healing, the pain is different and fading. He is slowly regaining his strength.

Stress is not my friend, and this year has held far too much of it.  As we are winding down, I simply feel clearer.  I feel like I am finally able to refocus on what is truly important.  And in doing so, I am reflecting on what is truly important to me.

I have always said my family and faith come before all else.  I am not sure that is where I have been focused for far too long.  I was focusing on what I thought was "right", the next steps that I needed to take to reach the next logical steps.  I have been pushing aside me, mine and my own dreams for things that I really don't want or need to be happy.

As the crisp air formed a fog from my breath and I watched it fade away into the dark, heavy sky I realized that I do have a right to be happy, to chase my dreams and reach for things that are important to me.   That might mean a restructuring of how I currently do things, but that isn't always a bad thing.

In a lot of ways I am like that leaf blowing past in the brisk air, I am easy to push and manipulate.  I bend easily.  Not because I am weak, I'm not, I am very strong.  More like a willow than an oak.  I want all of the people and things that I have chosen to devote myself to to be successful, for the people and causes I support to be positive and burr free.  I don't ever chose the path of resistance, and if you are a stronger personality I will allow you to shine over me, even lending my light to brighten yours.  That is simply me.

Unfortunately, that also means when I am done, when the breeze that is too strong for too long doesn't stop, I find it easy to simply fly away.  Much like that leaf.  I don't look back, nor do I mourn what could have and should have been.  There are areas in my life that I am feeling that constant breeze... Standing out there alone with my dog in the silence, my hair being blown about I wondered... am I reaching that point?

Life is a journey, its not a stagnate thing.  Being a military Brat has taught me to move with the flow, to follow the course in front of me and to always hold tight to that which is important.  To always, always put my family and faith first in my life. Being home with hubby, being there for my daughter and grand babies, these are important things... these are what should define me...

Have I been missing the important things in the shadow of day to day living?  

I found great joy yesterday in the simple act of filling out Christmas cards.  Simple pieces of paper, a time filler in between helping hubby and meeting with his therapists, something to do that was quiet while he slept. My soul felt whole.  To reach out to loved ones with a wish of joy and love during this wonderful season. Sadly, I didn't have to go buy the cards or stamps, they were right in the cabinet I had left them in last year, or maybe the year before.  Even a move hadn't caused them to be in a different spot.  I had allowed the act of making of living, rob me of living my life. Oh it felt so good.  Carols, Christmas Cards, Cider... it felt right.

I need to relearn making a life... I miss it... I miss the important stuff...

Maybe those naked branches are a bit metaphorical, maybe the reason I love them so much is because they really simply allow me to see... me...

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