It's 1:29 a.m. I am siting in bed with a heating pad, under 3 comforters, sipping Theraflu in much the same manner that a connoisseur may enjoy a fine vintage wine. My husband is snoring (rather loudly - I can easily hear him through my industrial strength earplugs!) on my left. On my right is Lola, looking none too pleased that I've disturbed her beauty sleep by switching on my bedside lamp.
The last few months have been exciting but exhausting. My sister-in -law J. has been staying with us for the past 4 months as she prepared to take the American National Board of Dentistry Exams. For the past 3 weeks, my parents have been visiting us from India. We've also moved house, visited Seattle and Mt. Rainier, and done a family trip to Vegas and the Grand Canyon. As I said, exhilerating, but so exhausting.
During this time I've gone through many ups and many downs. Sometimes, the fatigue got too much for me. And I would feel trapped. Frustrated. Imprisoned in my own body. My soul yearned to soar, but instead I would wave goodbye from the hotel room as everyone else went for a hike or to the casinos. And I would wonder what I had done to deserve this.
But each time this happens, I now take myself back to my trip to the Mt Rainier National Park. When we went to visit Seattle, Mt Rainier wasn't even on our 'places to visit' list. My husband almost had to drag me there. And now, I thank him for it everyday. Memories of Rainier have become my own personal place of peace.
I don't think I can ever explain the overwhelming sense of peace and 'rightness' that I felt sitting in those mountains surrounded by trees and brooks, no soul or sign of civilization in sight. Just a magnificent snow covered active volcano forming a glorious backdrop to an endless panorama of hills covered with green trees. In that moment, all my concerns and worries and stresses just disappeared. All that mattered was the nature around me and the contentment within me.
Rainier changed me in a fundamental way. Now, when things threaten to overwhelm me, I just transport myself back to those hills, overlooking a vista of pine trees and lakes, and nothing seems important any more in face of such majestic natural beauty.
I hope those of you that follow this blog have already found such a place (I would love to hear abt these), and I strongly urge the rest of you to find your Rainier. It will give you more joy than you can imagine!