One of my favorite posts! Written May 22, 2012:
Sure it’s easy to miss something that’s been right under your nose. People do it every day, right? Hence the saying: “If it was a snake, it would have bit me!” But, a park? I missed a park? You know - trees, green grass, picnic tables, kids laughing and playing, people power walking their dogs - a park. Now, if this park was a snake, well, it would have to be a gigantic python I’d say! If this park was a python it would have snuck up behind me and given me a much-needed humongous endless firm hug with the tight squeeze follow-up! What the whaa?! Yes – I’m admitting in front of God and everyone. “My name is Julie and I did not know that I live next door to a park.” Sum-mabeeotch, I live next door to a park. Clearly I did not realize just how much I really do not have the energy to get out unless it is a short necessary errand. Errands are my cardio.
So here’s what happened in my most excellent moment in too long of a time. (This moment has made my top ten most excellent moments in my hall of fame of my life. Just saying.) I had been inside a couple days - I lovingly refer to it as “resting”. We’ve had quite a heat wave here in my part of the world and I was camped out and laid up on my couch with my water, books, heating pad, cell phone, laptop and my cat all within reach as I was looking out at my patio. Watching the trees and the sky - dreaming up more of my many ideas, plans and some-days. That’s when it hit me with a fabulous Bam - ”I can slowly cruise in my car to conserve my energy while I check out all the plants and flowers in my complex that are surviving this heat. And when I am able, I’ll buy the same kind of flowers.” Brilliant. (I did not inherit the “green-thumb” that both of my parents have.) There I went, doin’ a gangster lean slow cruise in my dirty Honda. I opened my sunroof and windows as I turned on my air-conditioning. No music this time. I was longing to hear sounds of life in session while I was outside enjoying my solo scenic tour of my complex - we have over 200 units. As I was still checkin’ out all my condo neighbor’s spring flowers, a white iron gate that was surrounded by vines caught my eye. Even though the white iron gate is on the opposite side of where I live – sheesh! – I’ve lived here 3 years - and this my first sighting? Geeze – how sad is that?!
Impulsively, I parked my car in an open spot next to the white iron gate. I walked over and gave it a pull and a yank. It was locked! Hmmm. Thinking. Wait! do I have the key? Looking at my key chain I noticed a gold key I’ve never used since it was given to me. Well? Do I have the key or not? Yes I do! (Who knew?! I laughed out loud at myself.) I felt like I had picked the winning key at a carnival that opened the lock to a secret hidden treasure chest. As I slowly pushed open the gate and took only two steps in, I could not believe my eyes. And what a treasure I had won indeed. Before me was a picture perfect beautiful park. Did I walk on to a movie set and it was a fake back drop? Seriously. A park. I don’t think I’ve ever lived so close to a park in my whole life. It only took me 3 years to see it! And it was there all along – all this time – waiting for me when I was ready.
I quietly closed the gate behind me. Is this a secret park? Once I stepped inside, I felt my new-found surroundings lift my sad and weary spirit. The warm breeze blew the cobb webs off of me. I followed the trail as if I was Dorothy and it was the yellow brick road. I looked down at my feet to double check. Nope, no ruby slippers, just my good ol’ Skechers Shape-ups. They seemed to work just as well for me though – Dorothy would be proud. A gust of warm wind transported my weary soul and body to a place where I felt no pain. My heavy chains melted away from my arms and legs as if they had been made from ice – leaving the heat completely invisible to me. Unfamiliar freedom. Quite different from the way I remembered freedom from long ago. An abundance of gratitude filled freedom lifted my spirit with every step. I could hear the grass growing. I heard a leaf fall before it touched the ground right in front of me. I turned around to take another look to see if the white gate was for real or only another mirage I found in my vivid imagination during my healing and isolation. Keeping a slow pace I walked a little further. “If I walk slowly for just 2 or 3 minutes, I’ll rest a while and be ok.” Carefully. Resting. U-turn at the little wooden bridge. “Proceed on!” I happily said out loud just like my hero Meriwether Lewis. And off I went! Well, sort of anyway. A couple of minutes later I was close to the white iron gate. I sat down at a cement picnic table in the shade and I took the last sip of my water. My poor body has been so toxic. I was a little out of breath. I’ve become weak from getting too thin. Geeze was I sweating bullets! It was rough, but I did it. I’ll be back quite often, if only to rest and rejuvenate. But I had found my park – my sanctuary. God’s perfect timing – not mine.
I ate my healthy “allergy-free safe food for me” dinner. Drank more water. Took another Epsom Salt bath. Showered. And then fell into my bed and slept 11 hours straight. The next morning as I woke up, I said my prayers for my friends who are on my prayer list. Praying makes me feel useful. When I started to make my way down stairs, I felt like heavy chains had been put on my arms and legs. With a deep breath, I drank my glass of my recommended “Medical Food” powder formula. Still in my jammies, I went into my living room. I laid down on my couch with my water, books, heating pad, cell phone, laptop and my cat all within reach as I looked out at my patio. Watching the trees and the sky - dreaming up more of my many ideas, plans and some-days. And I smiled to myself knowing I had the key all along. Literally.