Back in mid-May, I was hankering for a walk out in nature – and chose the trail up above Spring Canyon park towards Dixon reservoir, about 10 minutes from my home. My back and body had been really hurting but I wanted to get out there. Some readers may know that I have a severe scoliosis – spinal curvature – in my back, and have gone through intensive therapy to stabilize and partially correct the curve. I’ve lost several inches of height over the years, and was feeling a bit puny that day, more than a little discouraged, working hard to get some energy flowing, to begin to re-strengthen my back after a long winter, get some kinks out of my hips.
As well as a challenge of discomfort within my back and hips, the path of the curvature somewhat compromises the right side of my neck, and the ease of my right lung to fill completely with breath. Nevertheless, getting outside and out in nature is one of my greatest joys. But it was difficult that morning, concentrating to focus on a deeper rhythm to my breathing, filling my lungs with as much breath as they could possibly hold.
Two shining little girls, in separate groups of people, piped up like earth angels to me.
To my heart it was really striking. I was toiling up the hill, but starting to gain some speed, and a family was coming down. I heard a girl say: “There’s a hiker!” About me, coming up towards them with my backpack on. A man, her dad? glanced at me and I could hear him say, “a hiker? Well …. somebody.” “A hiker!” she said again. As I walked by them, the little girl, with her little pink and white backpack and braids, gave me a huge smile and I gave her one back. She bolstered my spirits greatly and I carried on.
The flowers were beginning to come alive, scattered like stars across the prairie, and they further enlivened me:
My eyes and heart drank in the beauty. I was so glad to have decided to take the hike that day.
About 20 minutes later I was walking down a hill on the trail, and another family was walking up. I heard the little girl say, about me – “She’s a giant! She’s a giant!” And her mom said shh shhhh. I just burst out smiling. Long ago, before the scoliosis really tweaked my back, I was 6’1”, definitely more of a giant than today, where the curvature has taken almost 5 inches. But to hear her say that made me stretch up to my tallest, and I joked with them about knees and hills, the petite ladies laughing and agreeing. And as long as I could as I walked on, I helped my body remember, the little girls messages sinking in.
Words can be so precious to a person’s wellbeing. I felt that these two little girls were guided by their spirits to encourage me on that day. I could feel the smile of divine choreography working through my human discouragement, lifting me back up into the sense of possibility, knowing that nothing is ever as it may seem.
So what if my back is not perfectly symmetrical? What if it hurts, and the body holds some discomfort? I have carried on in the ways of service that have given me a sense of purpose and joy, and it is for those times that I know MY spirit will remember, long after my body is gone. Blessings to all who suffer within their physical body structure! It is the blessing of our spirit that holds the power to live within and expand because of – whatever perspective we choose.