I feel like a porcupine today with all its sticky outie quills conducting an enormous quantity of electrical shocks to my system. I must be on my last proverbial nerve. Each little nuisance that I’m rubbing up against is jabbing me into a state of hypersensisitivity. My usual pain level is magnified, my intolerance for messiness is in overdrive, my to-do list is a crumpled ball in the trash instead of taking pride of place on the fridge, and computer glitches have morphed into virulent technology hatred! I’m obviously stressed. What can I do? I can’t go outside for a walk because my legs no longer cooperate. The inclement weather is a closed door to getting lost in my garden, which is dead anyway. Can you tell that I am a joy to be around today?!?!

Take a deep breath Sheila!

Let’s try something else. If you can relate, pull up with me from your deep brain archives a picture of yourself playing your imaginary childhood games. Where do you see yourself? What are you doing? What surrounds you? What does it smell like? What do you hear? Who is with you? Now then, take a deep breath. Hold it. Blow it out slowly.

Within that remembered vignette, I felt no anxiety, no worries, no fears. All that was on my mind were the joys in front of me and the hopes of upcoming equally joyful tomorrows.

Where did I go?

I went to the olive groves and terraces surrounding my childhood home on the hillsides of Lebanon. It was a cool, crisp, sweater weather, spring day. My nostrils were full of dusty pollen from the dandelions, daisies, anemomones, poppies, and cyclamens growing in wild profusion, spreading their kaleidoscope glory under the majestic silver leafed ancient olives and peaking out of the almost equally ancient rock terraces. My friend and I were wearing daisy necklaces we had braided and sucking on lemon grass. I can still taste the sharp tanginess on the far back of my tongue. My Raggedy Ann Doll that I dragged everywhere had to have a necklace too! Our chatter blended with the chirps of sparrows nesting in the deep cavities made from the aged, bulbous knots of the towering gnarly olive trees. Sometimes, these accommodating cavities also served as secret mailboxes where we left letters for each other. Oh, the excitement of finding a surprise note waiting for me to discover!

That’s the exact joyful hope of each tomorrow I crave today as I put the grumpy yesterdays of 2020 and the devastating 2021 freeze behind me!


Where did you go for your healing, happy place?

There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,

The earth, and every common sight,

To me did seem

Apparelled in celestial light,

The glory and the freshness of a dream.


William Wordsworth

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