Liz's colonic journey

Gardens of life

I believe it is Wednesday. Strange how the names of days suddenly are less important than what is happening in them. It’s gorgeous and warm here in Pinetown, after what seems like days of grey. There’s a light breeze and a few strands of cloud in the sky. Pat and I overslept this morning, and Rocky was late for school. He wasn’t stressed.

They say that sunlight uplifts melatonin. (I think that’s an endorphin family member.) It certainly made me feel lively this morning. I think I was inspired by Joan C’s visit yesterday. Did you know she knows from juicing? She arrived with more bags of freshly grown things. This time light on the fruit, because apparently you have to be careful about over-dosing on fruit sugar. The same applies to beta-carotene – it can turn you yellow! Pat and I are starting to feel bad about never having to go grocery shopping. I wondered why my paycheck is going much further this month. I’m worried about bankrupting my friends! Joan also brought each of us a lavender plant which will nicely flank the new veggy seedlings that Karen R brought on Sunday, and which Alphaeus planted yesterday.

There’s spinach, lettuce, peppers, chives, celery and parsley. I think lavender keeps the noo-noos off the tender plants. It also is the most serene and calming perfume. Hopefully that will beguile the vervets who visit and stop them chomping the lot. Joan also brought news of DUT – the good stuff that makes it special. I believe Delysia, Shubs, Bwalya and Mabongz were busy at the weekend weeding the veggie garden that they and the students have created at Lakehaven as part of Heleen’s project – I forget the name but it’s fabulously practical. With the students swotting for exams somebody has to do the weeding. How did it go guys? Certainly a new way of being academic!

When Joan left she mentioned feeling somewhat bad for not realising how ‘grey’ I’d been for quite a while now, and seeing me ‘pink’ just made her realise what had been missing. I didn’t realise how grey I was either, so how could anyone else know? Her comment did make me realise how easy it is to be hijacked by routine. As she put it, a frog in a gently warming pot on a stove doesn’t know it is gradually boiling to death. The truth is that, in spite of the symptoms and the chemo side-effects, I’m feeling better than I have in a long, long time.

The pain that I’ve had in my midriff for a couple of months, the one that I thought was from coughing but turned out to be my liver complaining – has gone. My right shoulder has healed – including the repetitive strain pain from using a mouse and lugging my laptop – because with the port in there I had to be careful with it. And for those who might want to know, things are moving well below.

I think my body thinks it needs to go through all the side-effect possibilities like a checklist, before next Wednesday. I might have to face the possibility that I’m an unconscious Type A personality! It’s as if I believe that if I go through the checklist/To Do list quite quickly, I’ll get through this quicker. Such goal orientation – and here I always thought I was more into processing and reflecting.  Who knew? The latest side-effect seems to be oral thrush – I will get medicine! Hopefully it will go away as quickly as the retching.

So this morning was very lively. Pat is learning the mysteries of pool maintenance – the water is getting warmer but we’re being careful about exposing my hands to cold. I coached from the side. In penance for not doing that bending and stretching with water involved, I went out and cleaned up the landmines that are the real cost of having two large doggy companions. At least visitors can arrive now without danger! As I went around the garden, I was reminded again at how lucky we are to have a house with a real, messy, crazy, never perfect garden.

We have plant memories of special people who have passed, all around. The little pink roses for Pat’s mum and the avo tree that my dad sprouted from the tree in his garden, and which he ingeniously mailed to me in a contraption made of empty fax rolls, just before he moved on. It was incredibly fine to be able to think of these things, instead of leaping into the car and taking on the traffic. How lucky am I?

The pomelo tree delivered another six pomelos this morning, so I decided to actually use the new food processor and squeeze two. That was a bit of a giggle as the pair of us pored over the instructions, having plugged in the machine and assembled it and it wouldn’t go. One has to have both the bowl and the jug attached before it will work, even if you aren’t using them both. Who knew? More than enough juice for both of us – I added a bit of apple juice to sweeten it. Delicious – and if that hasn’t delivered the requisite Vit C, I can’t imagine what might. Thus inspired, I thought about making breakfast. Wholewheat toast with one of Godfrey’s chicken’s eggs each. He’s right, one of those eggs is at least worth two shop bought ones. Delicious again. It does take time though.

The shameful thing about my glorying in the freedom to just be, is that everyone should be able to do so. I’m very aware that the folk at work, and connected to it, have picked up all the stuff that I was going to do, giving them even less time to have time.   To have enough and good stuff to eat, to have the time to love the people they know, and to see how marvellous it all is. I thank you all for cleaning up my messes! I’m not just thinking now of people who don’t have money. I’m thinking of people like me with so much, running around, busy all the time, thinking, trying to make a difference, and yet getting so desperately deprived. Silly, obvious and I actually knew the theory but the practice was sadly lacking.  Work is a joy, feeling competent is excellent, delighting in one’s intellectual and other abilities is grand, but I was for sure missing out. With your permission, I will continue to indulge and in the meantime think about how to solve the 8 till 5 (or for most of the people I know 7am to 11pm) challenge of 21st Century life.


Comments on: "Gardens of life" (9)

  1. thanks for this post Liz…it’s soo inspiring…yes, i hear u …with all our rushing around, we somtimes lose ourselves and forget abt everything else happening around us…that we sometimes take for granted too…thanks for opening my eyes…if only i can get the practice right too
    Lotsa luv & good wishes to you & Pat,

  2. Karen Read said:

    Sending love and hugs! Delighted to see the veggies planted – hope they bring you joy and health XXX

    And yes, your joy and enthusiasm is so inspiring! Love to you and Pat

  3. hi there liz
    I say hi with great aches in pains in joints and parts of my body i was not even sure they are still there – with all the padding around them….all from the weeding…. well it definitely was not an academic exercise- it was exercise…. we had fun – will email you some pics….perhaps we could come round sometime and give alpheus a hand in the garden!…

    • Now, now Delysia, you have more than enough employment of your own (and two or three others) without depriving Alphaeus of his. Besides you’ve got a dissertation to write! I’m glad you had fun though – back to the earth and all that.

  4. Thenjiwe Meyiwa said:

    Dearest lovely Liz. It is so very interesting to read your blog. I went back – very back and was giggling, and studying, and wondering, and learning, and giggling and loving it. Great stuff, very inspiring. I send my love.

    • Thanks Thenji, I love your reaction to my blog and the love sent. It’s amazing how therapeutic writing it is – enables me to put down so much of what’s happening in my mind and body and then to move on. What makes it so special, is the care of the people who are reading it and their encouragement through the comments to me and each other – making connections, and helping me find out who the Liz who’s going to beat this thing is. We know ourselves through each other. Who needs mirrors?!

  5. Hi Lizzie – what an inspiring blog. You’re right we do rush about too much and I’m just thrilled that you’re making the most of this enforced time-out to look about and enjoy. But it’s not just time, is it? It’s also that you’re open to the moment and ready to be grateful for what is around you. You’re a lesson to us all- I am, as always, humbled by your spirit and determined to be a little more appreciative of the wonders all about me. XXX

  6. Dear Liz and Pat, Rocksalt and Peppercorn (I love dogs with grandsounding names! The names elevate them which for me is RIGHT!) Thank you for a lovely afternoon. I so enjoyed getting the lowdown on ‘How to Zap a Mofo’, ‘Chemo and Cold’, ‘Rocky and the Rabbits’, and actually witnessing in person ‘Liz Enthusiastic About Veges!’ and seeing how well you look, despite everything!! You were wearing your grey tracksuit and there was a clear distinction between it and you! You are clearly pink! What a marvel, you are Liz!!! Lots and lots of love, Joan C

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