Ever since my surgery last Monday, I have not felt like the same person. For the first couple days, I just slept and hardly even opened my eyes to look around at the world. The nausea affected me more than the doctor predicted, and by the third day, a secondary virus settled into my throat. Overall, I've been in a pretty sorry state.
Sometimes recovery inches along at its own miserable pace.
But today I woke up feeling somewhat happy and clear. I survived the previous twenty four hours without any pain meds and my appetite reached a near-normal level. By early afternoon I told the kids, "We've been cooped up in this house for almost a week. Let's go for a hike." They all agreed, so we ventured off to our customary hiking grounds by the Little Spokane River.
We must have really needed some time outdoors, because no sooner did we reach the usual trail when my children began to make faces like Christmas morning, with wide eyes and all the accompanying oohs and aahs. Whitney voiced our common feeling at least a dozen times, "It's so beautiful!"
And indeed it was.
All the new leaves and blades of grass pressed through the gloom of last year's foliage, painting the world in brilliant shades of green. Meanwhile, the sky seemed to divide itself into halves. A massive purple thunder cloud hovered just to the north, while the sun dominated the southern sky. The contrast of light and dark increased the presence of vitality and beauty.
The opening photograph captures a fleeting moment of perception from our hike. It reflects the color and light of the upper world, while still revealing a shadow of the lower world. A single branch reaches upward from the water, reflecting my feelings of recovery. Like the branch, I'm rising above the murkiness of my recent experience and returning to a place of joy and strength.
We got some wonderful photographs of my children. In this picture, Dakota stands near a pond. A small stream feeds the temporary pool before it continues toward the Little Spokane River.
A dark thundercloud looms behind Whitney.
McKenna surrounded by water and green grass.
The girls by the Little Spokane River.
The sun reflected through water and trees.
By the pond's edge.