Last day at home in Maine, getting ready to head to Boston

Today is a day of overwhelming gratitude for me. First, despite my heart valve issue, I am a happy person and am in relatively good shape. That is a photo of me above living the good life on Skye. Until quite recently I worked out twice weekly and walked and hiked extensively. I still walk briskly for at least a half hour most days, but I am puffing quite a bit on the hills. Once I recover, I hope to skip up hills.

I am secondly grateful to have a wonderful support system of family, friends and medical teams. My husband Glen is unflagging and our children Katie and Alex always there. Katie will join her dad in Boston while Alex will cheer me on from his home joined by his lovely wife Keya and our two fine grands Vaila and Lachlan. My sibs, Bill and Mary Kay and my niece, nephews, and their children are part of the cheering chorus as well. Then there are my many cousins and friends. I have a great surgeon, am going to a great institution in Boston and will be supported for the rest of my life by the outstanding healthcare professionals here in Bangor. I am so blessed and so grateful. Thank you all.

Finally, I am glad the stress of the election is over. We must look ahead as a nation now and envision and help build a future that works for everyone. Enough said about that, but I sincerely hope healing will be a theme that goes far beyond me. Certainly it will be my personal theme over the coming months.

Today I will be packing. It shouldn’t take long: a toothbrush, deodorant, slippers, a hair tie and a brush. That’s it folks. It isn’t exactly a spa, but I have been advised by the pre-op nurse to travel that lightly. For distraction, I will be putting the garden to bed today. This time I will be the surgeon, and like Dr. Kaneko, I will be preparing the garden to bloom again upon waking in even greater splendor. It is a great metaphor for me.

That’s it until tomorrow. In case you are wondering about the poem I have included along with each heart rock in the pink mesh bag, it follows, although I am not sure why the spacing between lines is so great. Hope you enjoy it regardless.

Maine Heart Rocks

Strolling along the shore,

I get lost in a treasure trove

of endless variability.

East winds shift to southwesterlies,

early fog clears, closes in, then clears again.

Here, close to the shifting tides, time slows.

I am lost in a good way. 

I am found.

While a certain sameness

prevails at the horizon with

cool blues and greys mingling

where wind and water meet,

at our feet a riot of colors and shapes, 

lie in festive tumbled heaps,

left by old glaciers a millennia ago

now polished smooth by

the endless icy waves. 

We can’t resist, so we bend

running our fingers over the sand

plucking up the choicest specimens,

My husband loves the banded rocks,

ancient tokens of good luck

when the band fully encircles.

Our daughter covets the pure quartz  

worn into nearly perfect white marbles

reflecting her quiet grace.

I spy a flawlessly smooth black oval,

a pancake thin worry stone.

It, slips into my pocket,

settling firmly against my thumb.

Still, my favorites are heart stones.

Good ones are hard to find.

Most are chipped and misshapen,

pocked or lopsided, one atrium

or the other ending up a bit puffed.

Yet somehow, they all charm me.

Then my husband offers a gift.

“This one’s for you!”

It’s a small, gray, plump,

but a perfectly even heart stone.

Better yet, a white band encircles it.

Pure quartz, pure luck, pure love!

A definite keeper!

I slide it quickly into my pocket

with a grateful smile.

A hope stone for a worry stone

now that’s a good trade!

Maine Heart Rocks © by Jean Deighan 2020

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