I saw this quote on someones wall a while ago, it comes from the poem 'A Summer Day', by the American poet Mary Oliver:
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean -
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
The last two lines have been floating around in my head for a while now; whenever they come to the forefront of my thoughts the only answer I've been able to come up with 'is I have no idea'. So I decided to have a go at hand lettering and painted the above, it's a bit rough round the edges but I plan to hang it somewhere I will see it every day, in the hope that one day I'll figure it out. Even though I don't yet have an answer, what I am acutely aware of is how precious life is.
It's now five months (how is it possible that time can pass so slow and yet fly by at the same time) since my surgery; so I can look back and see how things have changed here's where I'm at. In the first few weeks after surgery, while searching about recovery after a hysterectomy, I found this comment - 'after four months you will have whole days that go by in which you do not think about having had surgery' on the Hysterectomy Toolbox blog. At the time I couldn't believe it could possibly happen, everything I did or felt was dominated by the impact of the surgery; but over time I have found myself thinking less and less about the surgery and it's true whole days do go by without me giving it a thought. In many ways my post-surgery body is back to where it was pre-surgery - I'm back running (albeit rather slowly); I'm cycling and horse riding again and I've started back at work. I can fit into my regular clothes and the scar no longer feels sore and tender - I can wear jeans again! And yet I feel that there is an almost imperceptible vail surrounding me; from the outside I look like the same old me - but cancer has changed me - it's grip still holds me tight and it's not something I really know how to come to terms with. The broken sleep, tiredness and fatigue still plague me as do the night sweats and other menopause symptoms that need to be managed on a daily basis; and the nagging pain that remains on the left side of my pelvis is a constant reminder that life really is precious and it is about time that I figured out what to do with the life I now have.