Light gives of itself freely, filling all available space. It does not seek anything in return; it asks not whether you are friend or foe. It gives of itself and is not thereby diminished. ~Michael Strassfeld
Last weekend Rick surprised me with a little get-away. We'd tried all summer to find a last minute deal on a cabin at Grand View Lodge, but nothing fell within our budget. So we felt pretty lucky to finally get a really good deal on a room, despite the fact it was only for the two of us.
Reveling in the fact we had no agenda to adhere to, we took off, letting Siri route us through the back roads to Brainerd. We simply wanted to enjoy the scenery and photograph to our hearts content.
By dinner time we arrived. We'd be staying in a room in the lodge itself. But the light... oh the light... drew me right past the lodge and around to the breathtaking front.
I felt it instantly, but couldn't figure it out. What was so different? I didn't care, I simply immersed myself fully in the pine scent hitting my nose, the sunshine flooding my face, and the sound of the waves rapping against the shoreline.
I turned back around, as my lungs started to burn, and my breathing grew labored.
But each step helped me shed another layer of burden I've been shrouded in for so long. On I went...
I made it down to the water and thrust my feet in, the lapping water cleansing more than just my feet.
It took a rather large quantity of caffeine for me to venture back down to the shore after dinner. I have to be cajoled at times, into not withdrawing into myself too long, and too often.
But between the campfire, the gorgeous sunset, and the company of superman, I was so happy to discover the serenity that enveloped me.
Around every corner it seemed, the light peeked through, beckoning me forward, despite the weariness I so often feel.
The next morning, while the main dining room was closed, we were provided breakfast and the food never disappoints.
Our second day was just as warm and light-filled as the first.
The leaves seemed to be turning colors before our very eyes.
Rick and I loved driving around, the tree-lined hills pulling us around the bend, over the hills, and up the mountain for our next grand view. I snapped oodles of photos, as the all too familiar aching started climbing through my back.
I love that Rick always graciously answers yes, to taking photographs of others. We've been gifted ourselves with photos that are dear to us, and we always seek to pay it forward in some small way. He literally got to shoot a newborn, in her first family photo by the lodge- it has Christmas Card written all over it.
Down to the water for one last trip, and we fully saw what the other guests had been talking about. We knew something was different and it slowly started to occur to us. It seems a big storm had gone through the property, and the deck that had seated dining guests, and a whole bunch of tall thin trees, had been snapped in the wind. The view has become so "open" and truly gives it a fresh appeal.
But it's still "lodgy" enough for me to wonder where Baby is with her watermelon?
The sun was just going down, as I took my last trip back up the stairs. My fitbit started buzzing as I officially hit 10,000 steps and reached a new recored of 26 flights of stairs. But my back had soaked in and registered each step and pain was shooting through my shoulder blade. Superman whisked me off to retreat to our room, finding meds to ease the discomfort. I can't fight against it like I once could. More than ever, I find myself yielding to it, surrendering to what is.
We leave the next morning on a drizzly day. With each fluttering leaf that falls, I feel the life-giving warmth of the sunshine grow more distant, and a sense of it's loss settles in.
Its days later, I sit down to go through all of my photos. Photo after photo, the light floods over me, and joy spills through. It's the pure abundance of all the blessed moments that washes over everything. It's why I have to lean in to the hard. Embrace the mess. Walk along the gritty path. The light always finds its way through the dark, we just have to believe.
After a wonderful Breast Cancer Survivor's night event a week ago, along with all the goodies we received that night- my friend Sue gave me a card- filled, I mean FILLED with the names of all the people who so graciously donated to my wig fund! I was speechless!!
Just some of the names are on the card below on the right- if you flipped the page over- more names were on the back!! And the big reveal below...
I have no idea what I should name my new hairpiece? She has soft highlights, and we cut bangs into her. The wind was blowing all around, and yet she didn't threaten to move an inch. The smile never left my face. I'm deeply moved, and extremely grateful for all the sweet words, the generous giving, and the thoughtfulness of so many.
Dr. appointment then infusion tomorrow and a full week ahead- with yet another big surprise left to reveal...