|Happy camper Tracy Lukk taking a hiking break 3/10/11.|
Photos by Mike Lukk, The Woodlands, TX.
For the past ten days I've been off the grid, cycling and hiking through the high desert country of southwest Texas with DH and four "ultra-milers' from The Woodlands.
While I was gone, nothing changed...but everything did. Life changed irrevocably for the country of Japan and the millions worldwide who life in earthquake zones. None of us can read about an event of that magnitude without stopping in our tracks, taking stock and taking some action, from saying a prayer to making a donation (sources below).
At the moment the aftershocks were still resounding and the tsunami was yet to come I had found an oasis, mentally, physically and spiritually. We'd been hiking in the Chisos Mountains that day- just one section of Big Bend National Park - and had already climbed 2,000 feet to the plateau you see here where we stopped for lunch.
The vista was breathtaking.
The climb had been rugged, the path rocky. Mid-way, after hitting another section of switchbacks, my left hip started arguing loudly with me. Go back! Then my feet added in their two cents' worth. Girl, this is your vacation! Go back to bed! But like the people of Japan, I had no idea what would come in the next moment.
And there she was right around the corner, without fear and largely disinterested in my aching feet and hips. Completely disinterested, in fact.
She stared. We stared back. In those warmed shared seconds I felt the extraordinary miracle of passing time.
Without moments of serenity -- the blessing of an unexpected oasis -- it's far too easy to lose your bearings. Part of living with cancer or any chronic illness is training your mind to "replay" the unexpected oasis so it can feed you through the inevitable difficult days. I'll now remember the quality of the air that morning, its clarity, and how the sun felt, almost directly overhead, as we stood motionless.
Because the true oasis, as this was, is a rare event, like catching the eye of a hummingbird or being there, at the second the meteor makes it brilliant path in the night sky.
I hope you have an oasis, too, that feeds your soul.