It was a long, hot summer. The summer was complicated by a hailstorm which destroyed our roof and other things, an invasion of about 10,000 bees, and a broken water heater. Fun continues to happen, it seems, with other, more minor things breaking, and at times it can be overwhelming - I just want back in my house, or, I hope I make it back to my house, or I hope I can get in and out of my house. Although all of this has been happening, I seem to find unexpected diversions, in walking, learning how walking and standing work together in a very complicated way I suppose you might only know if you lost the ability to stand and walk, and then by some miracle got some of it back.
We went to a Labor Day retreat up at a place called Rainbow Trails (Lutheran Camp), in the middle of all the big stuff that was happening in everyday life. The theme for the weekend was peace, and all I could think, was how the heck can I find any kind of peace in my world right now? It seems wherever I turn, there isn't peace - there's chaos. Of course, things could always be worse. I wasn't in the movie theater shooting in Aurora (though I still felt impacted) and I wasn't in the middle of the fire in Colorado Springs (though I had a friend who was temporarily displaced by it, and that impacted me indirectly) and I have been healthier (though I have a friend who is very sick - see a few entries back).
So where is peace in that? We were challenged to find or think of a place where we experienced peace. My daughter found a stream she likes there, and drew a picture of it. Streams provide a sense of peace for me as well, though I think so much has been happening that such things have mostly left my mind.
At this retreat, we had time where we could choose to do activities, , or we could just do nothing - it really was our weekend. The camp is at 8500ft and so it's cooler there. Last year I walked a bunch while I was there. This year I found the same places where I had walked - one is outside in a covered area where I can walk circles. With the heat gone, I found myself suddenly stronger, able to not use the brakes on my walker, and to even do complete turns without the brakes - these are types of challenges I create for myself. Someone asked how much I work out every day. I don't know - I realized I don't really view doing all this as working out. The more I thought about it, walking was giving me the sense of peace I couldn't seem to find.
It's opposite what I would think. I often think of being still, and being still translating into being at peace. But many times when still, my legs start to jump, so it really isn't peaceful. Ampyra wants me to keep moving, and somehow that creates peace. In the mountains, I realized that this walking in circles, where no one bothered me and I could be in my own world, was giving me peace. There could be noise all around me, but in this new version of walking, I found peace.
Recently I found that my second physical therapist is leaving (the first one left after having a baby). Right when it seemed I had something going right, the world was once again turned upside down. Today we met to talk about walking and the things that could help me. With those things, there is somehow peace. Perhaps it is in knowing I am continuing to work on things, no matter how out of control the rest of my world feels.
It is in these times that I look to God and find some sense of support that is difficult to explain. With the whole world around me seeming to be in complete chaos, I find a sense of peace and support that I would never have imagined a few years ago. If you happen to read this and wonder where your peace is when life is so chaotic, you might find it in some very unexpected place. I think everyone can find it - but it's a matter of being very aware of everything happening in the middle of a very chaotic world.