My husband took me out for a drive up around the lake that’s about 7 miles from where we live yesterday. They call Arkansas the Natural State for good reason. If you live here, there is pretty much a lake, stream , river, pond, or body of water of some sort near driving distance from where you live. People hunt here, they fish, there are more critters of the furry , scaled, flying, and feathered variety than you could shake a stick at. We have huge loblolly pines, cedars, oaks, practically any kind of tree you could imagine. I love it here.
During my childhood I spent more time outdoors than I EVER spent in. I was a wildling. I hated bathing, combing my hair only when made to, did not wear shoes, rode a horse everywhere , went without a shirt , dressed as a boy; people thought my Dad had three daughters and ONE son, and he most of the time did not bother to correct them. Two of my favorite things , other than riding, were to climb the tallest tree I could find, and the other, were to go up what we called ‘ the dirt road’ and lay in Mr. Plant’s pasture for hours and just watch the clouds go by overhead. There is something so amazing about just feeling the grass under your back, and smelling the trees, and not having to worry about a single thing.
Then I lost all that. Some crazy illness from the pit of wherever these things come from stole that from me. The very sunshine itself made me sick. I couldn’t even get out in it. It were as if I became a vampire. A pale shadow of myself. Smelling the grass made me break out into hives. Pine trees made me come down with infections so severe I ‘d need antibiotics. Heck. I couldn’t even climb a tree without becoming so winded I ‘d feel like passing out. The fatigue was unbelievable.
Fast forward 15 plus years to yesterday and the ride round the lake I was telling you about. I have lupus and assorted other things . We know that now. I deal. The thing is, I have bad spells . I get really sick, so I hadn’t been out , not really ,in so very long, because the problem I’ve been dealing with lately is what they call syncope. That’s a fancy word for passing out. Kissing the carpet. Not fun. No drives. Heh. Shoot. No sitting up for very long without feeling light headed. But I’ve felt better the last couple of weeks so up to the lake we went. It was spectacular. Everything was greener than I have ever seen it. Suddenly a tear leaked out of the corner of my eye. The minute it does my husband starts to pull the car over thinking I’m getting sick. ” What’s wrong? Are you okay?!?” he asked nervously. “Yeah. Yes. Yes. It’s just so beautiful.”