"And we'll walk down the avenue again, and we'll sing all the songs from way back when. And we'll walk down the avenue in style, and we'll walk down the avenue and we'll smile, and we'll say baby ain't it all worthwhile. And we'll walk down the avenue again, when the healing has begun". - abridged. Words by Van Morrison, "The Healing Has Begun", from "Into the Music".
One of my friends and commenter's LPH, a man I have known for over 20 some odd years now, wrote in a comment that this song was very apt for my current status. Indeed it is LPH! What a song, a song of healing and opportunity and redemption. It has been one constant favourite Van tune of the ages, one that defines for me personally why I love the music. It leaped into my heart back in 1979 and has never left. Much like these mountains here in Aotearoa, the Ruahine, leaped into my heart when I was brought to them in 1993. So the words above, and the song stand true, and represent well my current journey, and how I am feeling about it. Get the song and LISTEN! (Get the whole cd, one of Van's best)
The photo above sees me emerging from the mist of the prior post. I am writing of course metaphorically, and the photos are from different trips, yet I have emerged from a lot of the doubt and fear, the unknowns of my last post. Above I am amongst the golden tussock tops, having done the hard yards and relentless steep climb from Makaroro valley and Upper Makaroro hut to the main Ruahine range. A lot of hard work and effort, rewarded by this expanse of wilderness, these mountains, the views, and whatever lies ahead. Take a close look at the photo and you will see I am actually battling to stand upright, poles and legs spread wide, and coat on in spite of the blue sky and sunshine. So you see, though I have done many hard yards, and emerged into the sunlight, it is now the wind that sets upon me. Another obstacle to be dealt with. Ride out the storm or carry on?
I went today on 70 minute walk along the river. In a fierce wind that kept most away, and I felt very much as if I had the place to myself. The wind was blowing hard through the trees and I let myself drift along to a Ruahine ridge on a stromy day and the wind blowing its song through the kaikawaka, tupare, and beeches. Not quite the same down here, and the wind held nothing of threat to me, even on my crutches. I have been where that song of wind means real danger. I relish the feel of it upon me.
The doctor's appointment I had thought was this Thursday, is actually next Thursday, so I am fighting the urge to get ahead of myself. In the three weeks since having the hip replaced I have progressed from standing up, to walks down the hospital corridor, 10 minute forays along the foot path outside, to yesterday doing the 70 minute walk down by the river. Most days I will do a 45 minute effort. I am also starting to get around the house without crutches and so am looking forward to seeing Dr. Brougham to get an idea of boosting my efforts with weights, the bike and so on. A bit of stretching would be wonderful but not advisable just yet, and if anyone has any advice or thoughts on beginning yoga I would greatly appreciate it. I am not quite ready yet, as these first crucial six weeks play out, but soon enough will be. And everything I do is pointing at mobility, flexibility, strength, and activity. The most wonderful feeling when I am walking is that pain I had is gone. So I dream of the mountains. Sitting here in the comfort of my chair, a warm house, and a cup of coffee, it is easy to write nostalgically, recalling all the wonderful trips and views, yet I know full well that with sweat dripping off my face climbing up hill, or straight down onto some creek bed, or battling a swollen river, or cloud obscured and wind blown tops, that most of the time the focus is simply on the next step, the next decision, to not stuff up. There will plenty of time at the hut or camp, or here in my chair, to let the day wash over me. So I sit here now and smile, and dream of steep climbs, and the golden tussock, clear streams and rivers, and the sight of the whio. Kia kaha!
Aroha - Robb