It’s day six of waking up to the beautiful morning sunrise at my parents home in the Bristol Hills above Canandaigua Lake in NY.
The mornings are a little more relaxed now that my father is settled into a nearby rehab facility to receive the support he needs to regain independent movement. He fell skiing last week and broke his femur. Eighty three years old, he is one of the most active people I know, skiing just about every day during the winter. The break was a difficult one, requiring sophisticated surgery and now, a lengthy recovery. I have watched him settle into his condition with grace, looking downright presidential even just two days after surgery,
Sitting by his side all these days, negotiating and advocating within a well meaning but burdened medical system, can be exhausting.
Nora has found her favorite spot on top of my parents low back couch where she can gaze out the large window. The hair on her back is up, her tail is wagging, she is quivering now as she watches the fox cross the field, same time as yesterday, this lone creature traverses the same path across an expanse of field beyond. It’s been hard not being out in the woods with her every day like we do at home. Typically when we are here visiting, I take her out on long walks with the leash, but it just isn’t the same. This past week, my mornings have been filled with the silence of waiting for the phone to ring, to hear my father’s morning report of the night, then gathering things and heading in to be with him for the day. So Nora has been getting the short end of the stick. After a few days of this, something had to give and we finally headed out for a short walk down the neighbor’s driveway toward the woods. Normally, we just walk the length and turn around to come back. But this time, we veered off on a path, typically not visible in the summer, which led us into the bowels of hidden fields that lay beyond.
Gorgeous vineyards framing a large open field and woods on both sides.
That first morning of discovery there had been a dusting of sugar snow the night before,
and with the bright sun, it was stepping into the world of ‘Iroquois Nation meets Tuscany’ that has always resonated for me in this land.
Today I realize that finding this kind of space in the landscape is a form of safety for me. Safety in the open land that allows me to simply follow Nora running free, visceral and inviting. I suppose it is always possible that something could happen to mar this feeling, to change my relationship to life through this space. Like Dad injuring himself while participating in something he loves like skiing. Shit happens. Change always happens. The potential for being led to a new place never disappoints.