A YEAR OF PURE JOY
Three years ago, the hardest challenges and trauma of my life began with a fall on the way to the outhouse. For real.
What a long haul it was to get to this now, TODAY. That’s the understatement of the decade.
Have you ever spent a year of life-in-wheelchair?
Where no one looks you in the eye on purpose?
And if they do, PITY is written all over their face?
A year of never going to the bathroom unescorted?
A year without being able to make a simple a meal?
A year of inability to do ANYTHING without EXTREME physical effort?
A year in the wheelchair, ya’ll.
Not able to wheel it around myself.
It was humbling. It pissed me off, that year.
I was involuntarily plucked from my very active life into this suddenly awful, completely immobile reality.
A reality filled with questions like, “What’d you DO TO YOURSELF?”
“I fell on the way to the outhouse. It was a crappy trip. Ha ha.” NOT.
It was horrifying to be so helpless and volcanic with frustration without a way to get better. There was ZERO light at the end of the tunnel, not for an eternity’s worth of time.
To never be able to handle much but a book, and then only in the left hand. After the series of falls post surgery, my right hand was good for nothing but page turning. I read a lot. A LOT. Eight hundred pages a day on average, but if the book was good, I’d push and read 400 more. Did you know? A year’s worth of 800 pages is 232,000 pages of reading. It’s the equivalent of a college education. At first it was anything I could get my hands on. I needed the distraction; filled the pain space with cheesy paperbacks occupying the campground shelf. Re-read the familiar ones that I’d read as a younger woman and thought, “Gee, I used to like this stuff?”
Predictably sappy storylines and rushed endings became frustrating all too soon. They stood out in my mind as a betrayal of the author’s best at the worst possible moment, the END of the book. At one point, I raged to Mark, who hears most everything I write before sending it onward: “Never let me finish writing my books this way, EVER!” He wisely said, “OK.” Good answer.
I learned a lot about good writing, and a lot more about the kind of writing I didn’t want to do. At the time, I didn’t have the physical ability to write, or even half assed scribble in my journal. There were apps bursting on the computer scene for every kind of note taking, or website saving you can imagine, but not one for the simple act of applying pen to paper. This particular facet of frustration was odd for me. There was no way to cry, wail, or lament my former physical abilities on paper. No putting them in a journal for safekeeping. No getting the feelings out, then coming up with an action plan. The pen did not work in my hand, at all. There was no physical ability to make anything in my body work as it used to. This becomes a splinter in the brain, and contributes to the anger underneath the lack of mobility.
We left Maine a month after the surgery. Winter wheelchair ice dancing was not a sport I could cheerfully embrace. We bee-lined the micro-camper to Florida for the Pirate Fest in Key West. Have you ever taken a Maine to Keys trip just after a place setting of titanium is installed in your ankle? Propped up on pillows in the back of the camper, it’s a bumpy, LONG ride. Our plan was to slowly work our way north afterwards, camp at state parks and see the things that were possible along the way. It was a big plan.
After two months, my physical abilities were weakening because I was in the micro camper all the time. This space was so small; one could not stretch arms out sideways without touching the windows. I was getting a little stir crazy, resonating with the pumpkin trapped bride of Peter Pumpkineater. So, I graduated from an orange micro-camper on a Nissan truck to an orange family size tent that would sleep 6. A fluffy air mattress was also in the bargain. Wonder of wonders!
With that decision I graduated to taking myself to the bathroom in a five gallon camp bucket. Just that simple thing made a big difference in my outlook. Now, Mark did not have to wheel and bump a very pissed off handicapped person across a parking lot to the ladies room. All he had to do was empty the bucket which was not a great thrill, but it was an improvement nonetheless.
Have you ever bumped across a parking lot in a wheelchair with a full bladder? It’s quite the memorable experience. On the one hand one is PISSED OFF to be reduced to this. On the other, one is PISSED OFF that the person driving doesn’t actually FEEL the bumps. These feelings are balanced by the absolute RELIEF one feels in releasing what no longer serves the body. Whew! Made it! It’s not fun, ya’ll. And I haven’t even mentioned the complicated aspects of bathing in such a situation. That’s a another story.
The desperate decision to acquire a tent, mattress and camp bucket was a huge degree of forward movement. It opened things up a bit as the days grew warmer into spring. Now, I could get myself out of bed, position myself to access the bucket, prop my left foot on the mattress, and release in peace. BY MYSELF!! WOW! The bonus? Instead of feeling SO cramped in the micro camper, now I could sit in bed and read, and see the trees above through the roof opening in the tent. As I watched birds and sky, I felt a tiny taste of freedom in that upward view.
If you could only see the elaborately designed GIRL SCOUT badge for “Broken Ankle Camping.” It’s the biggest one on my etheric sash at this point. Recovery from this sort of injury takes a long time. It’s tough. I’m an introvert. When I don’t feel well, I especially like peaceful music,for it has it’s own healing qualities. I like to be alone, and quiet. I also like camping, I really do, especially primitive camping. But I have learned that handicapped camping is its own special kind of hell.
With everyone else in the campground talking or yelling at the top of their personal vocal range, it becomes unpleasant very quickly. Like they’ve just been released from prison and found their long lost ‘outdoor’ voice. These dynamics do NOT blend well with peace, quiet and flute music, ya’ll. The urge to cocoon is there, but the ability to really relax and heal is absent. And, the ability to remove myself from an unpleasant situation is certainly not there.
I’ll never forget the “Corn Dawg” family, camping in Columbia, SC on the lake. This was, no doubt, a marriage made in heaven. Imagine if you will, what would happen if Jeff Foxworthy married Bret Butler and the resultant union produced five grandchildren. Now you’re up to speed. This lovely family was Spring Break camping with the grandkids. Fully in charge of the drag race fishing activities, Grampa would get them suited up in life jackets, pile them in the motorboat, and drag race them to the fishing spot waaaaaay on the other side of the lake. An hour later, they’d roar back to the campsite. Her job was to attempt to read a book while they were gone, and keep the snacks flowing. When they’d return, he’d bellow out, “Who waunts a corn dawg?” Five little voices would sing in unison, “Eeeye Dew!” Rinse and repeat three times in an average summer day for a week. A week of this, right next door, ya’ll. Honestly! A true character building opportunity right next door.
There were some good moments sprinkled into the challenges. When the noise of campgrounds became too much, we went kayaking. I had serious doubts about the ability to do this, but Mark persevered, augmenting the kayak to make it easier for me to be in it. Getting in and out was always the trickiest part. One fella stood on the dock, asking questions as to how this was going to happen. Well, first he’d wheel me onto the dock and set the brakes. Then he’d unload all of the kayak stuff. Then he’d come back around to the dock, once the kayak was in the water and secure it to the dock. Somehow, I would slowly ease out of the chair, and sit on the dock, then scoot my way to the edge of it where the kayak was tied. The trick was in not freaking out as it wobbled all over the place. It was quite a victorious process, the simple act of getting into the kayak.
Now, I could look forward to my favorite thing. Swimming was the only way I could actually move every body part. I could stretch, float, and relax. It made a big difference, this pretending to be a mermaid. I had to think of it that way. By far, hanging out with manatees was the coolest thing ever one could have wanted to ask for regarding physical therapy. They’d swim by and everything would stop, pain included; and wonder, real WONDER would take over for a moment. I could build on that wonder, ride it until the wave passed, while searching the horizon for another moment like it.
SINGING THROUGH THE PAIN
When the pain was really bad, I’d sing it out. All the songs I liked by my favorite singer-songwriters, I sit, wheelchair bound, beside the river or lake we were camped beside. I’d channel anger and frustration, push it up through my diaphram, and belt em out, often until my throat hurt.
Was particularly fond of Chuck Cannon’s bluesy affirmation of familial beauty in “Bet Yo Mama,”as I felt about as beautiful as a muddy rock. Jonathan Byrd’s “Verdigris” helped me to remember to connect with the green things around me, and to allow them to help me find peace from the brainsplinter of “but you used to move so easily!!!” To move “like a slow, sweet change in the light” seemed a graceful, and impossible thing at that time, but I envisioned doing so and dancing it. Susan Werner’s “May I Suggest” helped me tap into the wonder of experiences I’d had before the accident. These experiences lit the miles of good memories in my awareness, they stood out as beacons of light along the way. This struggle too, I would come through. Singing it was a way of renewing my promise to myself that I would see myself through this.
Without a familiar outlet for creativity, singing naturally became a way to have a voice about what was happening to me, in a reality I had ZERO physical control over. It was a way to cope, with comforting thoughts nestled in a musical space for those words to be comfortable in. It was reaching back to sing lullabies to younger self, something I remember doing as a young child. I’d sing popular songs back then, often at the top of my lungs. It was one of many self defense weapons guaranteed to drive my mother batty, especially if I faithfully practiced the same song all day. ALL DAY. “Bup Bup and Awaaaaaay, in my beautiful, my beautiful, ba-woon!” At that tender age, some consonants were tough to tangle with. No matter, it worked and gave me space I needed to play in peace, door closed, imagination ON, sans interruptions.
In the Year of Wheelchair, there were many songs I made up. Spilled out a chain of new lyrics to fit my wacky situation. Silently apologized to many a gifted songwriter for my bumbling renditions of their genius.
By far, my favorite of these conjured up vivid memories of both dancing, and an abundance of rain, and one of my favorite things, dancing IN the rain. Gene Kelly’s hydrant hopping, curb skimming flying feet are indeed a wonder to watch in the musical rendition. Tap dancing was a thing I loved to do, and now I could not even hobble to a bathroom alone, much less tap dance. Currently, rain, and wet ground were disastrous impediments to any destination. So it took a little courage to envision myself dancing in the rain with ease and zero fear.
“I’m singing through the pain… Just singing through the pain!
What a crazy thing happened, I’m laughing again!”
I can’t believe that I, had this freak accident,
Now I’m singing, just singing through the pain!”
Singing vibrates the pituitary gland, sending endorphins out everywhere they are needed to ease pain. No wonder I always felt better after I sang; it shaved a tiny bit off of the 24-hour iceberg of frustrations that accompanied healing. And it gave back in the noise department, unusual noise of a volume that no one else had the controls to but I. Ha HA! It also helped me remember to sit up straight, which is difficult to do on a seat that is more like a rubberized playground swing instead of a solid support. I could sing louder if I sat up straight. So singing was physical therapy, too.
THE UNPALATABLE TRUTH
It’s interesting now, to walk, really WALK around Rockland now. Step UP onto the curb, walk on the sidewalk. No worries. Effortlessly dodge a bump, a rock, something that would have incited extreme fear only a year ago. Everything is so different, much changed and yet, somehow the same. Several new businesses have appeared. It’s familiar and new at the same time. So am I.
People who haven’t seen hide nor hair of me in three years look at me and ask, “Where have you been?” When they ask, my brain starts up into Jack Nickelson’s fiery monologue, “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!” I’ve learned that even a smidgen of the truth turns people into awkward social ignorami. They kind of have that deer in headlights look, and automatically shoot back with, “Good to see you,” which is another way of saying, “Gawd! Did we get away from her fast enough?” So the hardest lesson, after the trauma, is that most folks just can’t handle the truth. They don’t want to hear it. They don’t want to catch the bad luck plague that might be wafting about. They don’t know how to respond. Being REAL puts them back to PITY-the-blonde-in-wheelchair mode.
So, I have learned to say, “I got a complete re-boot on life, and it took a little while to work the kinks out.” And leave them hanging with the mystery of it all. Read the book, people. I’ve processed a lot of this stuff. I’ve moved on. I’m dancing on, in fact.
DANCING IT OUT
Fast forward to today. It’s THREE YEARS LATER, I am so glad to be not only WALKING, but also DANCING! For real!
Wanna know how I celebrated the anniversary of the ankle breaking? It wasn’t at a dinner. It wasn’t by reminiscing over the bad stuff. No, ya’ll, I celebrated with ACTION, because I’ve sat still long enough. I am taking a Flamenco DANCE class. Fast moving foot stuff. Stand up in your power kind of dancing, holding the skirt like a twirling rose dancing. Right now, I’m dancing in safety socks because putting shoes on for this is a little daunting, as is the stomping of the left foot. But I’ll get there, or I’ll fake it until it clicks in and feels comfy. Or I’ll decide if it’s too much when the time comes. I’m a handful of classes into it, and absolutely loving it. I dance a few steps in the kitchen, as I’m prepping herbs. Hold myself in that proud presentation stance, let my back lengthen, my arms reach. Then throw on a little Earth Wind and Fire and boogie myself into oblivion. Oh, it’s fun, Fun, FUN! I’d forgotten how much.
This is big stuff for me. Full circle, you might say. Growing up, I used to dance four nights a week. I started before turning two. I became the student that the dance teacher would assign to catch up folks on a combo they’d missed getting down. I used to dance in the grocery store, sashaying over to get whatever item we’d just missed on the last aisle. I danced on the beach, to the music of the wind and the waves. I begged for coins from my Dad whenever there was a place we went with a jukebox, so I could dance. I loved dancing in the rain, too. I cannot describe how very much I loved, Loved, LOVED to dance, LIVED FOR DANCE, DANCED ALL THE TIME. As much as I loved it, I hated scratchy tu-tu’s as evidenced by my hands picking it away from my legs and closer to my chin.
When my ankle broke, I thought all dancing was over, forever. It was awful to be so deprived, starving in fact, for something that gave me so much JOY.
The last dance class I took was 30 years ago, in college. Right now, it’s enough to simply be present in class. To get myself there every week, on time, without major physical hassle. This means driving myself in the car. Parking in a dark parking lot. Not being afraid of the path I’m walking in the dark to the door (because now I always have a flashlight). What a thrill it is, to let my body enjoy the music, to let myself feel it, to F-E-E-L my rebellious foot c-o-n-n-e-c-t to the rest of me, and allow it to move in ways it’s SO not used to. It’s risky, this dance thing, but I’m still dancing. If my foot balks at a step, I fake it until that step feels normal. That, is an accomplishment I never thought it would take so long to get back around to.
After that epiphany, I decided that the full circle feeling was worth expanding upon.
A YEAR OF BIRTHDAY
“Joy is your birthright,” someone really smart once said. Really? YES!
November has always been a challenging month for me. It’s birthday month. I firmly believe that the thirty days leading up to birthday is a rebirth of our new, older, wiser self. It’s also the month we used to travel when I was a kid, and see amazing, memorable things. It’s also the month when my Dad spoke his last words, while dancing, no less. “This is SO MUCH FUN!” He was gone after that. Dad showed me the best way to go, but I have a lot of living to do before dancing my last dance. I have a few years of non dancing to make up for.
I’ve decided to give a birthday present to myself, one I’ll get to re-open EVERY DAY. I’m going to practice Giving IN to JOY. Giving OVER to JOY. Get out of my OWN WAY and latch onto JOY, like grasping the tail of a balloon going up, up, and away. I’m going with it for all its worth. Hang on Nellie! We’re clearing the treetops here! This is a view from an entirely new vista.
I’m going to spend a year doing EXACTLY what makes me supremely HAPPY. In the way that a baby tomato I’ve grown myself bursts into a flavorgasm on the tongue kind of HAPPY. New sunflower sprouts growing in the greenhouse and it’s 20 degrees outside kind of HAPPY. New dress, new shoes after years of no shopping, kind of happy. Yeah.
This list of JOY things are indeed adult reflections of the stuff I used to love doing as a child. Before becoming an adult with children of my own, bills to pay, and responsibilities that never end. All of that crusty adult stuff has to step aside as I searchlight my memory bank for answers. What kind of things made me feel jazzed as a kid? That was a long time ago. It’s a long way back there. But if I search, there are places in my memory that stand out.
This may sound silly. But I have a confession to make. My favorite game as a kid was called, “Performing for the Osmonds.” Seriously, ya’ll. I learned the hard way that this game was best played alone, since parking my resistant younger brother on the sofa and giving him a role utterly failed. Turns out, little brothers just can’t do justice to this kind of manipulation anyway. They’d rather have their hands firmly wrapped around a Tonka truck, or better yet, a snake. Scaring the crap out of everyone with a baby copperhead was more his style. No, I was queen of this game; Tonka trucks and snakes were not invited.
This game derived after meeting Marie Osmond and her mother Olive Osmond in an Atlanta concert when I was a youngster. Marie wasn’t singing with the group on stage yet, it was just as they were bringing Jimmy on as the youngest of the bunch. That was my first concert. Somewhere, I still have the photo postcard that Olive fished out of her purse, handed to the janitor and asked if he would kindly tell the boys that their mother said to autograph for me. It’s framed with a piece of Atlanta Braves stationary that the boys also autographed for a six year old fan. It moved me, this experience.
In this game, my very active imagination would be fully engaged. I sang, danced and entertained the entire family, lined up by height on our extra long blue sofa. There wasn’t room for all of them, so Jimmy and Donny had to take turns with Dad’s recliner. It was real, ya’ll. This desire to do something that mattered burned within me.
When I look at that now, I see that I longed to be on stage, before multiple generations of people, making them laugh, smile, and enjoy themselves. My favorite game also included their imagined responses to my budding sense of performance prowess. In my game, there were accolades, bundles of roses, a fabulous tiara, a standing ovation, and of course, an encore or two. it seriously overlapped theater with pageant, but hey, it was my game.
So the obvious question now is, What can I do that gives me that feeling of JOY that relates to that imaginary game? How do I pursue that?
For starters, I can play the piano. It started as therapy, after my hand was better at turning book pages. I bought the keyboard two winters ago. Let my fingers roam the landscape of it as I watched the snow falling outside. I’d hobble upstairs in the house we were renting and sit there. At the keyboard. Ignore the throbbing foot, the sore hand. Make one sound. “G.” Then another, “D.” And another, “A.” OK, so I got bored fast. In fact, chords were boring unless one was rapidly fingering them and folding them into other chords. That meant moving this right hand, getting it used to being active again. First I started picking out the songs that were buried within the memory banks. “Winnie the Pooh.” “Happy Birthday.” “Are You Sleeping?” Then, I started really listening to the music and letting my fingers follow the sound on the keyboard. Surprise! They can drunk stumble to follow the chord. Something within them already knows where go!
Fast forward, two years. Now, I can accompany my favorite songs, the same ones I used to belt out in the campground. “Bet Yo Mama”is SO FUN when played under the “Honky Tonk” setting. “Vertigris” is lovely and meditative when given a bell voice. “May I suggest can become its own orchestrated chorale of voices under the “Vox Humana” setting. Such variety! At first it was learning to HEAR and mimic the notes. That was enough. Now, I could do this for hours. Seriously, ya’ll. My hands are better. Before the accident, I spent hours preparing for the radio show, listening to the music. Making sure the ending of one song clearly blended with the beginning of another. Never understanding that in the process, I was tuning my musical ear at the same time. Imagine that!
But I can’t make sense of the music when it’s on the page. Maybe I’ll learn to change up the black math looking thingies on the music page into something that plays nicely. Color those drab notes in, perhaps. Not be afraid of an army of flats in a piece of music, especially since I can hear them and play them now without a second thought.
Maybe I’ll actually sing for real, not just to vent frustration and give back noise in a campground I can’t volume down. I’m already heading in that direction. I’m singing in chorus for the first time in 30 years. It’s SO beautiful to hear a room full of singing people again, and be singing WITH them. There are moments when the angels smile, as the notes ascend into harmonies that seem to rival the finest angelic choir. It’s a rare delight to be in the group! Not singing in self-defense, stuck in a wheelchair crazy lady at the at the end of the campground kind of singing. This is singing for FUN. And, we just so happen to have practice on MY BIRTHDAY. I’ll be singing on my birthday, after all. And I can’t wait to hear them sing Happy Birthday to me, as is custom whenever a birthday falls on practice day.
Maybe a voice lesson is next, or some voice coaching tips. So the songs that really get to my heart won’t warble wobble into teary gasps in the squishy parts, and I can hammer on through them like a pro. Yeah! That feels like a good thing to strive for. After all, there was no crying allowed in my “Perform for the Osmonds” game. “May I Suggest” is prone to squishy parts, in case you have not heard it. When sung by a person who has experienced a rebirth as I have, it is easy to get all squishy when looking upon the truth of what is being sung in perspective. Yeah, I need a little help with coaching out the squishy.
Maybe I’ll indulge my desire to learn to paint on silk, and then sew my own scarves and sarongs. Learn to twirl in skirts of my own making. I’ve imagined that for 12 years, upon my first sailing trip at the start of decade four. The palm frond huts bursting with color, filled with batiked sarongs, dresses and scarves really stood out. From the deck of the windjammer, they appeared as bright jewels scattered on the beaches as we island hopped in the Western Caribbean. Maybe I’ll go back there and learn how to make them. That would be fun.
Maybe, finally, 12 years into this, I will learn to sail. Really sail, not just enjoy the ride and the bliss of silence sans engine, but REALLY LEARN TO SAIL. It’s after all, what led me to Maine, chasing tall ships to Nova Scotia.
Maybe finish writing a book, or two. They’ve been patiently waiting for experience and processing to magically turn into flowing words on creamy white pages. They’ve been waiting for me to get on over the experiencing of the hard parts, so I can flow into something that feels good.
Maybe I’ll actually dance ON STAGE in a gorgeous, flower twirling mass of skirt, stomping my left, now healed, shoe clad foot, standing up in my own power with grace and a smile. It would be the first time on stage in many years, actually, decades. I can do this! YES! I CAN DO THIS! After the time of healing, I can do anything that sparks joy, within reason of course.
Maybe not cross country ski. Perhaps learn to snow shoe under the quiet of our swaying cathedral pines on the path to the river. Check out that snow crusted edging and the water flowing beside, and the eagles fishing overhead.
Maybe not ice skate, but perhaps learn to walk with ski poles, cleats attached on my farm boots, and a sense of confidence as I trek to the greenhouse to check on the kale shoots. It’s my first year to have a greenhouse. I’m determined to see how well this works. I’m not the first one, so I know it’s possible. But walking out into the snow sans freakout? Yeah, I need to be able to do that. The freshness of new kale, beet greens, pea shoots, buckwheat shoots and sunflower sprouts are a blessed reward for tromping out there.
The key is tap into joy. Every day. Simple, eh? Well...I may need a helper for that.
WAKE UP, WAKE UP!
There’s no doubt that the reboot awakened the Wise Woman Healer. She’s no longer Rip Van Winkling her way through life, messing about with this or that herb when she has a cold. She’s fully alert, on point, and operating well within her gifts. She makes fantastic things, healing and beautiful things, this Wise Woman. She knows the path of pain, the whisperings of wisdom it carries. She sees the value of healing now, after coming through the remolding fire. This Wise Woman I’ve become, she is a freed up Phoenix flying herself up and OUT of that wheelchair. She gave herself wings.
But my little kid? The one that thrives on JOY?
The happy one that never needed shoes to dance?
The creative one that painted creamy sample lipsticks on the living room walls for the thrill, who thought the spanking was worth the jazzed feeling of coloring up a blank canvas?
The little adventurer who was game for anything FUN?
That kid has been in a coma for a while, ya’ll. Dead to the world, sound asleep. She took an enforced nap for three years while this other hard stuff shook everything of importance loose and rearranged it. It’s a new landscape she’s in, now. Surprise!
It’s time. She needs to wake up and smile and dance her sassy little adventurous self right back in to the thick of WONDER.
She needs to ignore the old bitty’s morning grumpiness, aches, pains, and inconveniences.
She needs to bravely take the old Crone’s hand. Charm, nudge, lead, sometimes, PUSH that broomy broad into position to be able to SKIP WITH JOY down the path of decade five, year two. It’s a big task, but I think she’s capable of it. She has a lot of creative energy, that little tow headed one. She knows the dance before dancing it, she knows the song before singing it. She IS delight personified, this one. And for years, she has longed for the moment when I let her lead the way.
I love the wisdom of Wayne Dyer, “The moment someone says I’m too childish, I know I’m doing just fine.” Healing is tough stuff, ya’ll. The fun comes in crumbs, in seeing manatee swim by, in the joy of water sloshing over ones’ head in a river bath. Although I’m grateful for those crumbs of light that percolated through my otherwise awful existence, I realize that I no longer feel satisfied to survive on crumbs of joy.
I want the entire cake. Granted, it has to be made with Round-Up free organic flour, and crafted using free range duck eggs, Maine Maple syrup, and organically grown carrots, with a creamy frosting from a cow that isn’t shot up with bovine hormones, of course.
I still want the CAKE! For breakfast, even!
So I’m figuring out how to have the cake every day without looking like a linebacker before the year is out. I have an idea, ya’ll It’s so much fun to do what sparks JOY, that I’m going to keep this up. For a year. Maybe even longer!
So. My motto, my creed, my words and actions to live by THIS YEAR:
If it gives me joy, makes my inner kid think,
“Ooh! That would be fun!”
I’m doing it, ya’ll. I’m SO DOING IT. Unafraid. Unabashed. Unapologetic. FREE.
Like reach your arms into the tank with a Hawksbill turtle kind of free.
Skivvies off, diving into the ocean off the boat kind of free.
I’ll let you know where that path goes.
I have a good feeling it’s a very HAPPY place.
The route to get there will unfold with each choice toward JOY I make.
Who knows? Perhaps it will be SO much FUN, I’ll forget to notice a year even goes by!