more waiting

Mid-May I started re-reading The Master of Hestviken tetralogy and this morning I finished the last volume, The Son Avenger. My reason to begin reading it again was that I remembered loving the descriptions of the natural surroundings and the inner thoughts of the characters living in medieval Norway. Or so I thought. What stood out quickly to me in the first volume, this time around, was all the waiting Olav & Ingunn had to do to get matters settled so that they could finally be together.

In my “Eternally Terminal” post I commented on the waiting again, and connected it to the waiting theme in my current life situation. Little did I realize that the theme would keep coming around again and again in the four volumes. Waiting. Some things cannot be rushed.

Like many of the other characters, Olav was not to have a quick or easy death. He had a stroke and could no longer speak or use one side of his body. His son and daughter-in-law did their best to care for him as he lingered on for a few years. When Olav felt his death was near he struggled, inch by inch, to drag himself outdoors near dawn one morning without his family hearing him. He wanted to see the fiord once more. He finally climbed high enough to find a spot where he could see the water and the sky and be with nature. The next two paragraphs took my breath away:

The immense bright vault above him and the fiord far below and the woods of the shore began to warm as the day breathed forth its colours. Birds were awake in woods and groves. From where he lay he saw a bird sitting on a young spruce on the ridge, a black dot against the yellow dawn; he could see it swelling and contracting like the beats of a little heart; the clear flute-like notes welled out of it like a living source above all the little sleepy twitterings round about, but it was answered from the darkness of the wood. The troops of clouds up in the sky were flushing, and he began to grow impatient of his waiting.

He saw that all about him waited with him. The sea that splashed against the rocks, rowan and birch that had found foothold in the crevices and stood there with leaves still half curled up – now and again they quivered impatiently, but then they grew calm. The stone to which his face was turned waited, gazing at the light from sky and sea.

What a profound moment of intense awareness… It reminded me how when playing in the woods as a child I never felt alone, sensing and delighting in the energy of the trees, my friends. I now feel I was led to read this book again so I could pick up on this message about waiting. Patient waiting is definitely not one of my strong points! I’m impatient for my father’s suffering to end.

I’m also impatient for menopause to arrive, because I’ve been assured, by older women who have been through this and by my neurologist, that my hormonally triggered migraines – and they are the worst of them – will disappear. Every time I go several months without a period my hopes climb a little higher, only to be dashed as they were yet again last night.

Both these things I wait so impatiently for are part of nature. Maybe like Olav I can learn to become more aware of all of nature waiting with me. To let nature calm me down and soothe my frustrations.

Poor Olav. When his family discovered him missing they came looking for him and when they found him unconscious they carried him back to his dark little bedroom and there he died a couple of days later. They meant well…

8 thoughts on “more waiting”

  1. Barbara,

    I waited till this morning to respond to this blog… I wanted to be clear in my response. Was I waiting? I know myself well enough to know the moments of clarity to respond or not. When actions or thoughts feel forced and not authentic. What I see and witness here is authentic, real experience unfolding for you, evolving from one experience to another.
    How powerful of you to be dawn back to a story that describes, the unfolding waiting of nature, with sounds and breezes.
    If there is such a thing as active waiting, I believe that is what you’re are in relationship with, There is a dying of part of you, while you still live, still evolve, and your commitment to being part of that experience is part of life.
    There is a blog I have been thinking of pointing you to, I began following Peter Renner’s blog through Terrill’s. The title of his blog is Living and dying with eyes wide open: Cultivating an authentic way of being. I think you will find his message, his words and living experience to be useful, insightful, and Loving.

    I am Love, Jeff

    1. It takes me a while to ponder things, too, sometimes, before I comment. Thank you, Jeff, for acknowledging the unfolding… What you say has so much truth in it. When I try to stay “positive” all the time it isn’t authentic. Being able to be honest here without causing an uproar or offense – it’s been refreshing. It’s awkward, but sometimes when people ask me what I’ve been up to lately, I wish I could find a way to say I’m still waiting for my father to die, without it sounding so blunt and cold-hearted… It sounds so awful. But there it is.

      So I learn about waiting, and at the same time, learn a lot about how to say it in a way that conveys what I’m really trying to say. “There is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven…”

      Thanks for the link to Peter’s blog – I spent some time there browsing yesterday. I like the brevity of his postings – he paints a very personal picture of poignant moments in his life with a minimum of well-chosen words. Have to remember to add it to my links after I post this!

  2. Greetings from Canada, Barbara,
    Our mutual friend is Jenny Strong, whom I met as a writer on Diving Deeper, A Writer’s Workshop.

    Nature can also heal you.

    I had suffered with migraines for years when two things happened in my life that took them completely away. I don’t know if it was the one thing, the second thing, or both combined, but whatever it is, I am grateful.

    Life passed me by as I went through several migraines every month. I was in Australia, too, where the sun is so much brighter and stronger than here in my native Canada, newly married, and in this wonderful new country. But unable to appreciate it because of the pain.

    1) thing that happened: I found some Feverfew plants – weeds over there – and mixed the leaves with willow bark in a tincture of 50% H20 and 50% Brandy. Took that and before long, a couple of weeks, the migraines grew less severe AND less frequent. After a few months – maybe two – they were completely gone and I have not had ONE migraine since. If I get tense in my shoulders and neck, as is my wont and trigger for a migraine, I take Feverfew and Willow Tincture. Alleluyah!

    2) I did get full-on menopause before, during and after going to Australia. So maybe that stopped them, I’m not 100% sure. My intuition tells me it was the Feverfew.
    Of course, if you have allergies to aspirin (related to willow) leave the willow out. Or to feverfew, of course you can’t take something that you are allergic to. BUT – if you have no allergies, you could give this a try.

    You write with heart, and I thought it a real shame that you can’t live fully your wonderful-due-life because of this condition that, for the majority of people, is totally curable with this herb. Hope it helps!
    your once-removed friend from FB,
    Stella Raye Johnson

    1. Hello, Stella, it’s nice to meet you and so kind of you to take the time to write to me! Thank you so much for sharing your experience.

      I had tried feverfew many years ago, and I guess I’m the exception that proves the rule, but it actually triggered a migraine every time I had some. Tried again a year or two later and the same thing happened… Or it’s an example of the old adage, one man’s medicine is another one’s poison.

      I hope I haven’t sounded too pitiful these past couple of blogs! It’s because I am such a strong believer in natural remedies that I resisted going to a neurologist for so many years. But it’s been almost four years now since I’ve had this drug regimen and although I still complain that headaches do break through now and then, I’m able to abort them quickly with the Zomig. I’m not thrilled about using the pharmaceuticals, but it’s the price I’m now willing to pay to be pain-free. And I now have the luxury of being annoyed about knowing the headaches are still lurking around in the background of my life. 🙂

      Who knows? Maybe after menopause, if it ever decides to come in earnest, I won’t be needing the drugs. Keeping my fingers crossed!

      My father suffered from migraines as a child. When he left elementary school they became fewer and less severe. He believes it was something he could smell that they used for cleaning at the school that triggered them, because he didn’t get them in the summer. When he started taking Inderal for high blood pressure as an adult, the migraines disappeared completely. It helps me, too, just not completely.

      My mother’s and my sister’s migraines sound more like yours, muscle spasms seem to be the primary trigger.

      I’m so happy that you found something that works for you and am touched that you were willing to share your story! Jenny sent me some Reiki energy from Australia once, when we were both on Gaia. 🙂 It dulled the headache I was having and got me interested in Reiki. I took a quick peek at your nature blog before I started writing this, and will go explore it some more after I post this. Maybe I’ll see you on Facebook! Thank you again!

  3. Hi Barbara,

    I also waited to comment on your blog. I wanted to be able to express in a meaningful way how you experienced Olav and his waiting to die. How awareness became greater when he went to a loved and beautiful place, one that soothed his soul. How his last great effort was to wait a little longer with and in the beauty of the fiord which he found to be waiting for him and was awakening with him, preparing him for rest.

    My own experience of waiting this last week has also taken me to two beautiful spots to bask in with my daughter as we waited to see what was happening with her kidney. I will be posting them soon. I actually read your post on the 6th and we finally found out on the 10th that her gifted kidney will buy her some more time as her creatinine went down to 3.7, and for now we will proactively wait.

    But to you I wish to thank for your timely and sensitive post, as the action of finding beautiful spots to spend some of that waiting time certainly made the the waiting calmer, more soothing, and purposeful. As now, Jamie and I have in our memory banks the loving experience of waiting together in beauty.

    1. Thank you, Julie… I’m speechless, so very moved by your comment. You and Jamie have been on a long and difficult journey and somehow still have the strength of spirit to find still more beauty together while you wait. I wait with you in spirit and am sending healing thoughts your way often throughout my days… Words seem so inadequate to express this, but I hope you understand my intentions and wishes for both of you.

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