On the Beauty of a Shrinking World

In some ways it feels like I am on house arrest as I recover from my hysterectomy of last week. I am not supposed to drive, and to be honest, riding in a car on Birmingham’s bumpy roads would be painful at this point in the healing process. I am also still “weak as puppy water” at times as my mom would have said, feeling fine and then out of the blue as if I am made of lead. The good thing in all of this is that I love being home, always have. Home has always been my sanctuary, my place to recharge. However, I’m finding a disparity between choosing to stay home and having to stay home. I worry that as my recovery period continues, will I begin to feel like a caged animal? Or instead, will I choose to see the beauty of my shrinking world?

My doctor has encouraged me to walk as much as I can to get my body to wake back up and heal from the surgury. Even though the hysterectomy is so commonly done and is often laparoscopic as mine was, it is still major surgery; parts of my body were removed. It has been interesting to me that just a week ago I was kickboxing and doing ninety minute hot yoga classes with no problem, and now walking to the end of the street and back at a snail’s pace is cause for celebration. That’s okay- this is normal and temporary- and probably a really great lesson for me on taking time to stop and smell the roses…or the irises, in our case. I have been working each day to walk a bit further, beginning by walking around the inside of the  house, and then moving to a slow and short walk on the flat part of the street in front of our home. I am about to wear a rut in the hardwood floor around the dining room table. The dogs watch in bewilderment, with Coops giving up and collapsing by the stairs to await the obviously more sane Dan’s return, and Sophie-ever my shadow- following me and being an excellent obstacle.

Today, I ventured outside for another brief  attempt at walking adventure. It rained  most of yesterday, and the day before on my first  outward  bound  experience, I over-did it and paid for it with the famous ‘swelly-belly’ known to all HysterSisters and a numbing fatigue. I was determined that today would be different. One of the things I promised myself- both inside the house and outside- is that I would be more aware of my surroundings. It’s amazing what you notice when you pay attention.

On the stairs to the street, I stopped to notice the front hill that I had worked so hard to weed and clean before my surgery. The indigo iris is blooming, it’s deep color and light fragrance something I look forward to each Spring. The storms had beaten one stalk down, so I brought the two remaining blooms into the house to enjoy.

I stopped to listen to the birdsong, watching the birds’ aerial ballet as they darted from trees to sky and back again. I noticed the beauty of the knockout roses, their welcome pop of color such a welcome part of our landscape. I couldn’t help but picture in my mind the weed-tangled wild mess that the front hill was when we bought our home fourteen years ago. What a difference love, hard work, and belief in a dream can make. This house has been both a hobby and a labor of love for us.

Inside, I really looked at the dogs. Both are getting more and more white on their faces, but sweet Sophie (a year older than Coops) is really showing her age…I told her not to worry, that I was, too, and she seemed to sigh in appreciation as she fell back asleep on the ottoman at my feet. They are such wonderful recovery companions, ready to nap or to protect me at a moments notice.   I am so grateful for their loving and faithful presence in our lives.

On the back decks and in the gardens, in our funky old crooked house, on the steep front hill, there is nothing but peace and beauty to be found for me. It is clear as I sit and listen to the birds sing, the chimes’ low tones as the wind blows, and the gentle snores of the dogs at my feet, there is no better place for me to rest and restore over the next weeks. There is a big and beautiful world out there that will be waiting for me, but for the time being, my little world of home can be a place of magic and healing if I am open to it- and I am.

My very own stairway to Heaven…


4 thoughts on “On the Beauty of a Shrinking World

  1. Love your gates! Glad to hear you are recovering. Dogs are the best company, in good times and in bad, I think.

  2. Very dear Dr. Denise, I’m afraid I have been absent from media for longer than it has really been, but I am now trying to ‘catch up’ with my friends and their posts, etc. I actually fell and had a very minor head injury a few days back…I am totally fine…I won’t go into the details now, but I have not meant to seem as if I have not been aware of your writings. This blog post, is especially beautiful to me, not only because of the honest, and ‘down to heart’ views expressed, but the photos speak so many illustrative volumes as well. The combination of the words and the pictures are so well presented. Your photography skills are yet another of your quite amazing attributes. I do so enjoy seeing the literal visuals which accompany the very descriptive ‘literary’ visuals. Thank you for sharing. Your healing process seems to be right on track! Good for you!!! Still, many good vibes coming your way from so many…including me!

    1. Oh, Jan, I am so very sorry to hear about your fall! I hope that you are feeling much better and don’t have any residual complications. I am sending good thoughts your way! Thank you for your kind words- writing, as it always is- is very healing for me, and I love to take photos (my hobby).
      Take care of yourself! ❤️

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