Fresh Starts and Continuations

I want to share a few new appearances in my life, some of which feel more positive than others. Since even the less positive developments aren’t a real problem yet, I don’t want to saddle the future, in all its trembling openness, with the dead weight of a potential that may never amount to anything beyond a few extra pills?

Three new arrivals in my daily life come immediately to mind:

1/ A white-winged dove is sitting in a nest that she and a companion built a week or two ago; now she is always there when I open the blinds each morning. All day, she is staring straight ahead whenever we approach and look out our living room window. She seems the soul of patience, available to do whatever it takes to bring new life into the world. Should I tell her that sitting on the nest is the easy part?

2/ This spring, I planted the first of The Three Sisters—corn, beans, and zucchini—and yesterday, now that 16 corn stalks have broken out into the open and are 6 inches tall, I planted four bean seeds around each stalk. This traditional planting of companion vegetables is giving me a connection with the natural world that feels new. Now that the first sister has actually appeared in our back yard, like a living representative of the native American ancestors who planted corn, beans and squash together for hundreds of years, I feel like I am joining the living world in a small way.

3/ Early this past Monday morning, over my second cup of coffee, I took my blood pressure as I do each morning. The monitor measures three things: diastolic and systolic BP and heart rate. I record the three numbers but only pay attention to the BP values, because, since I had a mini-stroke 5-10 years ago, I sometimes have to adjust medications according to those values. This Monday, before I could record the numbers, the heart rate value (usually in the 60’s) appeared with a red background and was 110. This seemed so unlikely that I pulled out an old BP monitor, strapped the cuff around my forearm, and pushed the button on it. This time my heart rate was 123. Thirty minutes later, my wife and I were at an ER facility. We were there for much of the day. The attending doctor was ready to admit me to the hospital but before that happened, my heart rate returned to normal. In the doctor’s words, “the problem fixed itself”. Now I’m back home taking a blood thinner, with a diagnosis of “A-flutter”, a cousin of “A-fib”.

These manifestations feel related in their way of introducing fresh perspectives in my daily life. Starting a garden gives me something to watch as nature plies the waves of another season. Watching a pair of white-winged doves build a nest on which one of them (unless they are trading off like human parents do) has been sitting ever since, is like a reminder of how we are all faithful to something. And I can’t ever recall a time when a medical threat suddenly fixed itself, like when, on a muggy night, a fresh breeze blows through a long-closed room.

My days now continue much as they have for years. I am standing by—provided Nature smiles on this part of the world–for the chirping of new born doves, and the commingled companionship of corn stalks, climbing beans, and ground-covering zucchini plants. And as for my diagnosis of A-flutter, I am taking a few new pills for heart-related eventualities, but feel free to check out whatever arises next in this always eventful human lifetime.

One comment to “Fresh Starts and Continuations”
  1. Hi Michael:

    Nice posting. May you remain A-flutter free.

    I clocked in at what feels like a healthy 115/69 this morning. Thanks be to BP meds.

    My experience has been that everyone who grows zucchinis always has an overabundance of them at harvest time, and are giving them away. I’d be happy to take some of your excess crop, and willing to fly to Albuquerque to get them, but I’m not sure if I could bring zucchini over the border to Canada. All sorts of things are banned from crossing the border, zucchini, handguns, apples, etc.

    – Paul

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