Dirt Road Heaven used to be my gratitude journal for all the things here on The Dirt Road that give me joy. Then cancer sidetracked me for a couple of years and recently, I tried to make Dirt Road Heaven about my attempts at painting. The reality is, I'm still struggling and forcing myself to "be" something, besides sick, has left me frustrated and in an odd state of limbo. I'm trying to find my way back .. and sometimes talking to myself helps. Talking to myself, being outside and looking for, and finding, God. So these, then, are the voices in my head today. And these photos are my factual evidence of God, here on The Dirt Road.
v. Past tense and past participle of lose.
1. Unable to find one's way: a lost child.
a. No longer in the possession, care, or control of someone or something: a lost pen.
b. No longer in existence; vanished or spent: lost youth.
c. No longer known or practiced: a lost art.
d. Beyond reach, communication, or influence: The expedition was lost to the world for two months.
3. Not used to one's benefit or advantage: a lost opportunity.
4. Having not been or unlikely to be won; unsuccessful: a lost battle; a lost cause.
5. Beyond recovery or redemption; fallen or destroyed: a lost soul.
a. Completely involved or absorbed; rapt: lost in thought.
b. Bewildered or confused: I'm lost can you start over?
I have lost my direction.
I have been lying fallow.
Weeds have taken hold, order has been disturbed.
I told my oncologist last week that, as bad as treatment was, the months following have been harder.
During treatment, I was focused on ridding my body of the invader. During treatment, I was committed to surviving treatment. Afterwards, my expectations of immediate restored health (yes, I am that naive) were met with less than desirable results.
Now. Now I have been "cancer free" for just shy of two years. Now, my hair is long enough to blow in the wind. Now, most days, I am able to do what I want to do.
The trouble is .. I don't know what I want to do. I can't seem to get my land legs.
It's not just about starting over. I've done that plenty of times. Dividing linens and dishes. Moving. Restarting. Restarting alone.
The balm to heal all my heart hurts was always found outside. But this time is different.
I still find solace and happiness with my bugs and birds. And lizards.
Wildflowers still fascinate.
Turtles laying eggs still a treasure.
A scissortail sitting still for me, a blessing.
But I'm floating above the earth like a birthday balloon. Happiness without purpose. Lost. Here, but lost.
I was a daughter. A sister. A tall girl. And far too soon, a wife. Then I wasn't. And I was lost for a long, long time even though, far too soon, I was a wife again. And then a mother. And then again. A baby in each arm in a rocking chair looking out the window at the goldfinches in a rare January snow.
And then we were on our own.
Lots of changes. But that's life, so it's not just about changes.
My internal map is gone. My kids are grown with babies of their own. I now parent my mother.
The eyes and heart who saw the best in me, gone from this earth almost nine years.
My heart found a home. One that won't blow apart with the slightest stormy wind. Finally I could relax and blossom a little bit. The energy to flower wasn't spent on just survival.
Until it was again.
I'm so sick of cancer, cancer treatment, cancer recovery, cancer testing, anti-cancer meds. Enough already. You've had enough of my time, my body, my thoughts, my prayers.
But I don't know how to put back what's missing. I'm not even sure what I've misplaced.
I just long for for order. And grace. And strength.
So this collection of random, disorderly thoughts is really a prayer for a light on the horizon, a star to direct me, a whisper of wisdom that will plant me firmly back in my garden of happy.