These past three weeks, I have had to put my life on pause a bit to deal with pulled muscles in my lower back. Needless to say, I am trying to develop a better relationship with pain. My first reaction is panic, which only tightens the muscles more. So, I breathe deeply, think of beautiful places, and try to compose poetry out of the pain.
I have needed to talk short, slow walks throughout the day to keep the muscles happy. The more I walked, the better I felt. Of course, I had to recognize my own limitations and not walk too long, otherwise I would be back in the pain place, and panic would set in once again.
Nature is always good medicine, and I seek to be among trees and flowers as much as I can. Nature makes me more mindful of the short time we have to enjoy this miraculous earth. It makes me grateful to be among the flowers. It makes me feel like I am part of something much bigger than myself.
I have what I call the “Emily Dickinson Syndrome.” I have a habit of writing lines, stanzas, or whole poems on scraps of paper, napkins, old journal pages, or whatever is at hand. Then I forget about them and find them at a later date, often surprised by my own thinking. I found a stanza today in a 2018 calendar in the June 25th space. It was like my previous self was sending me a message she did not want me to forget.
The pale ,yellow tulips
On your bedside table
Bow their buttery heads,
Delicate and fragile,
Their blooms fleeting.
My thoughts turn to flowers. They help me recover and create a more positive approach to pain. Poetry allows me to recall times when flowers have given me momentary joy. This settling of spirit is welcome and necessary.