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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A shimmering vision

How do you visualize your future? Mine looks murky at the moment, in the sense that I have trouble visualizing it. For me, giving up control is the hardest part of surrendering to a surgeon. From past surgeries, I know that helpless feeling of being wheeled into the operating suite with nurses and doctors bustling all around me. At that moment, I'm putting my life in their hands, and I'm fully aware of it. Fortunately, the particular surgical team who will work on me in January earned my trust when they fused my lower back a few years ago. So, I'm focusing on that trust as I prepare for the big day, a bit more than three weeks from now.

K, who feels like an extension of my heart, clearly senses that I'm off kilter. For the past few days, whenever I look up, I find a pair of amber eyes softly following me. Words cannot express how much I love my K.
In these precious days, I'm making sure to spend time snow biking with K whenever the snow conditions allow it. So, K and I rolled out the door under steel gray skies this morning. The snowy mountains blended with the sky behind K in the photo below.
The cold air and packed trails made for fast riding and running. K ran atop at least a foot of snow in the photo below.
Then, just as she arrived at me, she used the universal dog 'calming' signal of flicking her tongue up over her nose. She was probably trying to say that, although she was barreling toward me like an out-of-control freight train, her intentions were peaceful.
When I rolled out solo after leaving K at home, I headed to my favorite ridge, deciding to follow a gorgeous route even if it was still snowbound. The beginning of the climb up to the ridge was the toughest part, with a snowy and rocky trail as my route. But, the gorgeous mountain in the background served as inspiration.
I managed to pedal about half the climb before my back wheel lost traction in the snow. A maze of elk tracks crossed my trail, leaving tangible evidence of the presence of these beautiful animals.

Even after I climbed off my bike and started pushing it, I felt like I could barely attain the top of this hill. For every step forward, my bike and I slid back a few inches. I trudged, clawed, and climbed toward the top. The path in front of me was starkly beautiful, pulling me upward.
At the top of this hill, the west-facing trail harbored no snow because the wind had scoured it clean. Moreover, the views awed me. They also reminded me of my fear of the future. After my last surgery, my docs recommended that I not return to downhill telemark skiing. So, although I gained a lot from that surgery, including pain-free bike riding, I also lost something forever.
Just before descending toward home, a massive mountain shimmered in the distance, like an apparition floating outside the dark glade where my soul resided.
As I halted to gaze at the view, I realized that the darkness surrounding me represented the terrifying unknown to me. The shimmering and surreal mountain in the distance represented my optimistic hopes for the future. I focused on the mountain.


  1. Just like Khyra said, we'll keep our thoughts on the mountain and not on the darkness.

    Your bike rides must be so thought provoking. I think I'd get lost in the wilderness just because I'd be so entranced in thought and not concentrate where I'm going.

  2. beautiful....
    i can see the deep love in K's eyes...she will be there for you, giving you encouragement and hope....

    keep your focus on the mountain...

  3. An avalanche of pink sparkling mojo falling upon you every day before and after surgery.

  4. And your persistence to get up that hill is evidence of your determination to win this battle!!!

  5. Kia ora KB,
    My thoughts, prayers, and aroha go out to you. May the mountain Spirits stay beside you.
    Today was one of those days when my hip was so sore that running a few errands in town and walking a few blocks was just sheer agony, and I feel so dark and depressed knowing exactly how far away from the mountains I am in those moments.
    Then I think of a memory or see a photo, or am jolted in some way to be reminded of how much these places mean to me, and what I will do to remain there. I have no idea how I will do this tramp I have planned next week, but one way or the other I will walk,crawl, and drag myself to those open tops, to the clear stream, and just be there. I will think of you there and send the energy I am taking in.
    Then I will return here and follow your journey back to health and back to the mountains. Kia kaha KB! And Happy Yuletide.

  6. The mountain and not the darkness, yes, but ah, those loving amber eyes! Stella somehow softens her eye look and she looks at me with such love it takes my breath away. I know K does it too, because I see it. So how lucky we are!

    Cheers and hugs,

    Jo and Stella

  7. K's bootiful eyes... oh what thoughts are running you KB. You will recover, and recover well - I know how the unknown can beat us down (several surgeries myself), but you have the heart of such an incredible winner.
    Hugs xo
    Sammie and mom

  8. A little more than three weeks, eh? I wish a I had something useful or inspiring to say. (If you think of anything, let me know!) I can't imagine how you must feel about your impending surgery, but I can picture you trudging, clawing, and climbing your way back to the top, no matter what. I hope you can picture it, too!

  9. LOVE that first picture of K!

    I know that you'll make it to the mountain! You have such tenacity of spirit, I can't envision you not making it, even if you have to get there through a means you haven't discovered yet. There will be a way for you to get there, I just know it!

  10. Hang in there, KB! Our fears are the hardest obstacles.
    Luv C

  11. You need to focus on those mountains, KB, and on those amber eyes.

  12. My heart goes out to you. I don't know what else to say.


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