I happen to listen to Bonnie Raitt this morning. Here are some of the lyrics:

“That was then and this is now.
Found my way back here somehow.
Take me down.
You can hold me down
But you can’t hold what’s within me.

Someone other than who I am
I will fight to make my stand.
Cause what is livin’ if I can’t live free.
What is freedom if I can’t be me.

Pull me around.
Push me to the limit.
Maybe I may bend. But  I will not be broken.”

Returning to Colorado was not the easiest thing to do, but it was the Right thing to do. Being here in the high desert with extreme heat so close to the equator and with forest fires nearby, it is clearly the road less traveled. And if you experience the town I live in you would understand the esoteric nature of my decision. By definition esoteric means:

ESOTERIC. 1. a : designed for or understood by the specially initiated alone.

Sometimes even I don’t understand why I would choose to live alone in the wilderness. Although the town is isolated, I feel less isolated in Crestone than in Scranton or basically anywhere else right now. And certainly most of my family and friends don’t understand. I suspect that there are clues in the song:

This is the room where I do my physical therapy.

“I will fight to make my stand”– living in the desert at 8000 feet altitude is not easy, especially if you have compromised breathing capabilities. Just breathing can be a struggle certain days and add to that smoke from the forest fires affecting the air quality.

“What is living if I can’t live free what is is freedom if I can’ t be me?”  That about says it.

On the other hand, my internet connection just became DSL and my Skype conversations have much clearer reception. More grocery stores have opened with competitive prices for organic produce. And the most effective physical therapist I have ever met comes right to my house. Harald, originally from Germany, was referred to me after my femur fracture. “This is your lucky day,” the person referring him said as she gave me his number. I was still in the hospital in 2007, when I placed my call to him. I mentioned the femur, but I neglected to mention the neurological issues. When he first met me, Harald was pretty surprised when he came to understand the complications of my case.

Dancing with Harald in 2008

But that didn’t intimidate Harald. And for the next three years we worked together through my separation and divorce, through the ups and downs of this illness and our respective learning curves. We laughed together and we cried together as we weathered the celebrations and the heartbreaks.

Last month when I e-mailed Harald for an appointment and briefly described my double ankle fractures we experienced déjà vu. We hadn’t seen each other for two years and it had been a difficult two years for me. Harald devised the treatment plan in his mind and said, “okay, let’s stand,” and with some thought he added,  “but first, let me hold your hand” and our hearts got on board. Yes, give years after I originally moved to Crestone, I am still fighting to make a stand, Bonnie, but this time I am bringing my heart along.

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