My mum and I are very, very close. Spending nearly two months in Australia this year was perfection. We got to hang out, connect and be a family without thinking of all the things that need to be crammed in if you have the pressure of a limited number of holiday days.
My mum is also being treated for cancer. She is in the midst of a series of operations and treatments, all of which will hopefully end up with a healthy, cancer-free mum at the end of it. It has been a long journey so far, and we’re about halfway through it. This time next year, we hope we can say mum is out the other end of all of this.
Meanwhile, I am back here in Colorado and she and the rest of my family are all the way over there in Sydney, Australia. It’s super tough.
And the best part of living here in Boulder is my connection with all that nature has. It’s like God spent a little longer here when s/he created the world.
Every morning, as the sun is just kissing the ground I hike/jog 4.5 miles with Jet. It starts out cold at the beginning of the trailhead, but then the sun hits my back and I step up the pace as we slowly begin the incline of the mountain. Before five minutes have passed, I’m warm. It’s a warmth that comes from within.
For three years, I have warmed myself in the Colorado cold from the outside. Layers of jackets, snow pants, gloves and hats. But now that I’m so much more physically active and have lost 25 pounds (so far), I invite the warmth to come from within. There is a connection between the warmth within, the warmth of the sun, the warmth of the environment and the way I feel emotionally as I hike the trail each day, at the same time. It has become a ritual. A ritual of connectedness, inner peace, warmth and health that solidifies my being.
On my trail I have built a tower. This is not uncommon here – yet mine is the only tower on this particular 4.5 mile loop. Every day I add a new thing to it. A stone (the clear ones represent the new cells my mum’s liver is growing), flowers (for the beauty of nature which we can forget in times of stress and crisis), pine cones (representing seeds of new life). There are lots of things I add. I always stop and reflect at the tower, and send the energy I have of the morning and positive thoughts to my mum – ones from me, and also ones I collect from friends who have expressed their thoughts to me offline and online. I know she gets them.