Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Beauty of Life

The sun was just setting as I finished my run and the light was perfect. The tall grass and wild flowers, juniper trees and cacti, were lit in a warm glow and the breeze was blowing just enough to dry the sweat from my body as my feet padded down the trail. My dog was running full out ahead of me, her tail stretched in the wind created by her own speed and the smell of earth, sun and wind filled my lungs and made my spine shiver.

Students excelling at things that they're trying for the first time. A boy who has never played music becomes the star of the rock band. A girl who has never acted before takes the lead part in a performance. Students show off their talents and have fun together on a stage, the joy they take in their parts contagious to each other and the audience.

A hard earned, cold beer consumed after a long day of things well done. Laughing and talking with my partner in life while the dog snuggles quietly into the bed and sleeps off the exertions of the day.

Healing puts things in perspective. Things that were once easy, are now things I'm lucky to be able to do at all. Progress is sometimes hard to see, but it's always there. It seemed, after surgery, that I would never walk again. That was never the prediction, it's just how things felt. For a procedure that to me appeared instantaneous (the beauty of anesthetics) it changed my life considerably. Of course, what it really did was enable me to once again be able to walk, run, hike, bike, play, to have a functional left leg. Yet it seemed, at the time,  to disable me completely. Post surgery I could do nothing. I couldn't even get in and out of the bathroom on my own.

Recovery has been long. Or, at least, it has seemed long.

But here, six months later, I can do all the things I used to (though perhaps without the same vigor and with the use of a brace). Every day I get stronger. Every day I can do a little bit more. Between me and a knee that is as good as it was before I tore it lies another three months, but I finally appreciate what these six months have done for me.

I can run again.

Let me repeat that: I can run again!

Life is beautiful.

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