Sunday Morning ~ The Sweet Taste
Kanyambitira sikakufa. ~ What has touched the mouth does not die.
~ Chewa proverb
August 2, 2020
The gist of this proverb is that once you’ve gotten a taste for something good, you can’t easily dismiss it. I’ve thought about that this week as I prepare for this week-long canoe trip. I have only gotten the taste from photos and stories, but those morsels fueled my love of the outdoors, navigating under my own power, and moving from one place to the next in a beautiful wild setting. For many adventures like this, I’ve just gone off on my own as finding someone with a similar time schedule or desire became more work than I wanted to invest. But this is one I can’t do alone, or am not willing to at this point in my life (and skill level). So there has been plenty of coordinating with companions about food and logistics. Several times I thought it wasn’t going to work, one thing after another came up, but slowly everything has come together.
The census job started much later than I had expected so I was just getting oriented to that last week when we got a tremendous heat wave. I thought the combination of the driving, entering data into the phone, ninety degree heat, and 100% humidity was making me sick. I am not prone to headaches but would come home every day with a tremendous pounding head that left me useless. It was hard to get all my chores done, organize packing, and leave the house in order with feeling sick all the time. I decided to take a couple of days off before the trip to get my head back to normal and reduce my stress.
Thursday I still had a headache. Not good. It was hot so I blamed that and pushed fluids but could barely eat anything. I thought I was turning into a wimp, unable to tolerate a heat wave. I decided to cut my hair, that always makes me feel better. I spent some time blaming my hair in my eyes for yesterday’s headache. I stood in front of the mirror to take stock in the job ahead and noticed a bright pink round rash on my hip. It was practically fluorescent. It was in a place I’d never have noticed without a mirror, and I only stand in front of a mirror about every six weeks to cut my hair. I instantly knew the headaches were not from the heat or the data input. I had Lyme disease. I knew it. I rushed to get a blood test done, pick up the antibiotics, and ingest one as soon as I could get the bottle open. I prayed they would work quickly and I’d feel better before today. I thought, it figures I’d need to be on a medication that makes you super sensitive to the sun on a canoe trip. Was the universe telling me not to go? After twenty-five years of longing, and getting this close, what message was I being sent? Should I persevere and overcome? Or admit defeat? I decided to wait until I felt better before letting my mind take me down an illness-induced rocky road. Not good to make decisions when you don’t feel well.
Well, I feel like superwoman after three days of antibiotics (yay science!) and am packed and ready to hit the long road to the Canadian border where we’ll camp tonight on the St John River. Tomorrow they will transport us to our starting point and we’ll end back up there in a week. Whew! Looking forward to a week of being disconnected from media and super connected with the earth. Stories next Sunday!
Love to all,