Life taxes us in ways large and small. This maxim is the one constant beyond the sun that greets us each morning.
Value Each Breath
Those well-acquainted with me know asthma remains my wily and unpredictable companion. Dog and cat dander floating in the air, pollen storms and smoke are just some of the pernicious substances that can drop me and leave my lungs struggling to distribute the life-sustaining oxygen we all need to survive.
That’s why the wildfire smoke that has blanketed the U.S. west has had me on edge since the first major conflagration in July. It crept into the Tahoe basin and enveloped our house for days on end coming in thick and brown. Last week it overpowered our air filter. It seeped into the seals around the firmly closed windows and hung in the air. My lungs faltered and soon I gasped for air. Kind friends who have a pet-free home reached out and offered refuge. Five days of powerful steroids and fitful nights ensued. Today, I am breathing more deeply.
Life Tests and Transforms
Our time away from our home while I recuperate reminds me of the uncertainty I’ve faced before in my life. The anxiety, not surprising, resurfaced traumas and primal emotions. I instinctively reached for my tried and trusty coping skills. First, I reassured myself: While unnerving, this too shall pass. Second, I reminded myself of my resilience and adaptability. Third, I recalled that when scared and overwhelmed it’s important to reach out to others to both find and share comfort.
That’s my segue to community.
World Childless Week
This year’s World Childless Week takes place from Monday 13th-Sunday 19th September. As always, participation is what makes this week special. That’s why I’m echoing Stephanie Phillips, Jody Day and others in asking for your submissions. There are many ways to be involved — including creating your own #IamMe portrait for the 2021 gallery.
All submissions must be in by Sunday 29th August, which is days away!
As Jody noted, this is not a creative writing competition or an art show – it’s not about making something award-winning and fancy doodle – it’s about communicating your experience, in whatever way feels most comfortable to you. And remember, whatever you submit can be completely anonymous if that helps.
As this is sensitive stuff you’re sharing (and who doesn’t want to breathe easy?) know that only WCW founder Stephanie will know who is behind the submission. And if you’d like full credits, that’s also an option too. Click here for full info.
I hope my #IamMe creation, shared above, inspires you. Now, I’m off to organize my thoughts further. Meanwhile, stay well, be safe and remember, we’re all in this together.
And for some further inspiration, my thanks to Lady McCleod who posted this quote today. It’s a welcome reminder that life shapes us over the long March of time.
“You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
Margery Williams -The Velveteen Rabbit, 1922.