This afternoon was a day that gave birds reason to fly and sing. The budding trees are smiling with green flowers, the sky is light blue with puffy cotton-candy clouds. I wanted to do something that I haven’t done for so long because the pain I have from Fibromyalgia stops me. Today I wouldn’t let it; I refused. I went to the tiny patch of garden we have in the front lawn and replanted a pot full of old flowers into the ground. Granted, I couldn’t kneel because I knew I would never be able to get up but I improvised. I admit digging the dirt with just a little hand shovel was too hard but I gave it my best try. After that I hauled my eighteen year old son out, who cursed the entire time, to dig deeper for me. He doesn’t get gardening, doesn’t understand the point of it but he doesn’t have to; he just needs to help me when I ask. I also bought a little plant at the grocery store today that looks like a round puffy white ball with red and white edges. I planted this little sweet flower by myself. I pointed out a worm to my son, forgetting he’s 18 and not 7, and that amused me but not him.
After that I went into our shed and got out bird food for the cardinals. I have wanted to do that, literally, for years. Today, with the weather encouraging me, I did it. I felt bad in the winter when I couldn’t go in the backyard for fear of slipping in a foot of snow and ice but I knew the birds would forgive me. There are black sunflower seeds now in the lopsided bird feeder and some on the grass and the table because I don’t mind feeding squirrels either.
Doing these things made me feel alive even if now I am so stiff and achy I can barely move. My back already hurts on my right side and my trusty old heating pad is in its proper place. I know I wasn’t standing or bending the right way; but it doesn’t matter. This was good for my spirit: earth, grass, flowers, birds, sun and the wild wind bouncing off the houses and trees and through my shiny brown hair. Today, I felt normal, human, real and I felt happy.
I had forgotten how much I like to put my hands in the earth, smell the musky scent, feel the softness of the dirt intertwined with harsh roots. The earth didn’t mind that my fingers were swollen and even my joint pain got swallowed up in the beauty of the sun-kissed daffodils. I will not complain tomorrow even if I am twisted into a painful pretzel. Today, I needed to do this, I needed to feel like I was part of the world. I wanted to feed the chirpy bright red cardinals that wake me up in the morning and even the fuzzy, fat squirrels that my dog wishes she could play with. I wanted to replant something that was old and try putting something new and dainty in the ground. I brought out my empty plastic jug of pomegranate lemonade, filled it with fresh water and tended to my two plants. My knees are stiff and I had trouble walking down the stairs to get to the kitchen tonight holding on to the banister with every ounce of strength that I had left. Today, I learned, that maybe more pain is worth it if it means feeding your own soul.