Dandelion days

The pavement is soaking wet, the snow hasn’t fallen yet
I whisper your name and I can see my breath
And I’m tired of singing sad songs
I’m an oak tree in midwinter, 
I’m struggling to breathe and stay alive. 
I am mighty in the summer, 
but to live it means in seasons I must die…
~ from two songs by Sara Beth Geoghegan ~

The field is gold in sun, the beans dry and rattling loud 100 yards away, my windows open to the last of summer's heat billowing off the dried-flower fields.  The seed pods let loose in great storms of cottony glitter that catch the afternoon rays as they sparkle downward toward the dry, loose earth just tinged with the fertile odor of fallen leaves, corn cob remnants and the last cut of the year's hay crop.  Everything on earth slows this time of year: bodies, minds, earth's internal clocks, the hours of the sunshine shorter, the darkness longer every day.  We huddle in chill houses, trying to decide when to turn on the heat for winter...the inexorable grip of the thermostat on our wallets urging us to pull out wool blankets and sheepskin slippers instead of turning on furnace and fireplace.

My thyroid cancer management hits fever pitch in spring, when my body wakes up along with the frozen ground and my Synthroid dose is suddenly too high.  Then again in fall, as I begin to hibernate for winter, the dose is suddenly too low and I creep slowly toward true hibernation, struggling to find energy to haul myself off the mattress each morning and afternoon.  My afternoon nap is no longer a luxury, a necessity now in the autumn of my body's year.  I get labs drawn, and find that, indeed, it's all out of balance again.  Yet when I speak to my oncologist's nurse, I find that I must wait until October to adjust my meds.  I don't know what it is about endocrinology doctors - perhaps their lifelong work in a feedback loop that takes 6 weeks to adjust to anything - but they don't jump when you say "jump!"

So I wait, falling deeper into this sleepy lethargy with each passing day, my TSH (hormone level) climbs sharply from well below normal (suppressed) to the high end of normal (approaching true hypothyroidism). By October, it will be well above the normal range, and I will be an aching, freezing, sleepy, mind-in-a-fog mess.  It is difficult not to be angry with the slow pace this doctor takes.  Yet if I get ahold of some other doctor to get the dose adjusted...or adjust it myself, which I am very tempted to do!...the repeat labs at the beginnings of October will not help him determine my fall and winter testing schedule.  And that's too important to sacrifice.  We need clarity on that point.

As my body falls further into this pit of depression and quiet, I feel like my very soul itself is walking through darkness.  Aaron and I are experiencing a period of difficulty in some very important relationships, and our emotions are confused, baffled, bereaved.  Mostly we feel adrift on an unknown sea without a compass.  Our desire is for healing and restoration, but how to get there without a compass?  My mom gave us this passage to stand on in a stormy time, for we know there is truth, permanent, objective truth.  And that must be our compass: Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (II Corinthians 4:1-2, 5-6)

So, in a season of difficulty - physical, emotional, spiritual - I humbly ask again for prayer.  Prayer for endurance and courage, a spirit of love and submissiveness in this fallen world.  I have thoughts for tomorrow...thoughts about callouses and how God develops them and uses them in our life.  For now, I rest, a half-blown dandelion ball, scattered and spent, and pray for God's healing to flow down in these broken places, make me whole again.

You are an angry storm on the ocean
and I am a little boat
The waves are thrashing 'round all around me
I've just about lost hope

My little lights
Can't see the land
Through your crashing hurricane

I just wanted peace in the water
the night was still and calm
You've torn apart my stern and rudder
Now everything's gone wrong

And I know that the sun is gonna come out soon
The storm will cease and the sky will be blue
the nails and the boards are gonna get me through
So I hold on,
I hold on...

You are an angry storm
on the ocean
And I am a little boat
You've tried your very best to destroy me
You cannot take my hope.

~ My Little Lights, a new song for today by Sara Beth Geoghegan
& her 14-year-old cousin, Phoebe Guice ~