The picture is of me and my sweetheart of a dog, Ella, is out on Vinal Haven where I went to visit my wonderful friend Tina this July (2011). Her hammock is an amazing place to hang in the late afternoon. The best view from this angle is up into the deep green of the huge spruce that towers over this spot with the blue sky in the background. There was a breeze this afternoon so I actually had that comforter wrapped around me for a little bit of warmth.
Oh, and then, after Tina snapped this picture, she appears with a cold flute of Prosecco for me. Any wonder why I like to go out there and visit her?!
I was there last summer at just about this time. That was only a few months after Jim had passed and I was still horribly wounded. I remember writing about packing the car up and having the horrible awareness that I was the only pilot of this trip. The experience of driving up there, navigating the ferry, my gear and Ella without having Jim along was all new to me then ... and felt so difficult. This time, I didn't even think about it until after I got home. And this realization has me feeling that healing is happening, if I pay attention.
When I take my bike out for the first ride in the early spring after not riding in the winter months, the first hill feels so difficult. I have to drop down into the lowest gear and get out of the saddle to grind up the hill as best I can. After a month or more of riding I suddenly realize I'm flying up this same hill, still in my saddle and still in a high gear. Muscles flex, strength comes and there you are a bit stronger and more capable of attacking what was once insurmountable.
This is what this healing feels like in small ways. I still get hit with missing Jim - hugely! Just yesterday I braved looking at our old Ladokh pictures of when we hiked together in the Himalayas. Jim looks so fit and handsome, so happy with his arm around all the other trekkers on the trip with us. He was so incredibly loving and fun to be with. It felt good to view his images ... and then it hit; no big tears, but just a sigh and a whisper to him of how much I miss him. How horribly sad and lonely this can all be at times.
I imagine missing him will never really end. I don't know. I'm pretty new at all this. But I did notice out on Vinal Haven I was able to go out for a run this time, go into town and poke around the shops, stay up later, rise a bit earlier. But last year all I wanted to do was be in that hammock, starring up into the bows of that massive Blue Spruce and into the infinity of blue beyond.
Healing happens. Day by day. Week by week. One full circle around the sun at a time.
Loving you all back,