bunt sign

Saturday, June 2, 2001

It's a relief to have this business with the hospital lab out of my hands. The lab has what it needs from me, and for now all that's left is to wait for the results.

I'm in no hurry to find out, even though I can't be truly relieved until I'm confident that my doctor knows how to treat me. I'm trying not to think about all the dire possibilities. I won't even let myself dwell on them long enough to name them. I don't know if a less frightening outcome is more or less likely, but I've received the kinds of suggestions and support that have kept me from seeing the future through too dark a glass.

Still, I worry. I can't help it. It's wired into me somehow, and all I can do is fight the tendency to give in to fear. At any rate, I'll know more in a week or so. Then either I'll be relieved, or I'll have a whole new legion of monsters to worry about.

Just before dusk on these long almost-summer afternoons, the birds put on a display of aerobatics that's breathtaking. I can sit on the porch and look out over my yard and the vast fields beyond and see them mostly swallows, flying back and forth, straight up and straight down, in all directions around me. Hundreds of them. Literally.

At times one will be flying directly toward me, at a speed that seems beyond control, and then it will veer straight up and over at the last second. They look as if they're speeding directly at each other, and changing directions too quickly, amid all that traffic, to avoid collisions.

I'm sure the swallows land somewhere, sometimes, but I never see it. The other birds, the black phoebes and mockingbirds and finches that have their homes closer to mine, will sometimes venture into the mayhem. But their trips are shorter and unlike the swallows, they seem to have a destination in mind. Usually it's a perch on one of the fences that close in my yard. Some of us, they're telling me, know our boundaries.

looking southeast from my yard

I'm trying to look at my current medical crisis (if that's what it is — or even if it isn't) as a chance to take flight a bit myself. I'm not making any definite plans or resolutions, at least not yet. Once I have a clearer picture of what the future might hold, it'll be almost like having a chance at a fresh start. One way or another, I'll be different. At the very least (and best) I'll be relieved of some of my worries. Maybe that will give me wings.

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