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Surprise

After a sluggish morning, ruminating on all the scary things that could be, and feeling all manner of weirdness in this body, I decided I wanted to outsmart my dark slump.


Remembering a conversation with a friend yesterday, I got up, slugged myself to the bathroom, stepped over my dog, Grizzly, turned on the hot water and got into the shower. After soaking in the comfort for several minutes, enjoying shampooing my millimeters of velvet-like hair, I decided to go for it; I took the handle and moved it quickly from the red dot to the blue dot, then waited. As the water turned cold and then colder, I was determined to stay under it. For 15 seconds (all I could handle) I gasped, squirmed and hollered loudly at the surprising, startling, exhilarating cold. And when I turned it off and stepped out, I felt an enormous, irresistible smile pull my face and body into a wild dance.


Nausea was replaced by energy and I headed out for a walk. It was perfect. The cloud cover created a gentle, refreshing breeze, and I talked with a friend on the phone who had written me a beautiful song. I enjoyed botanical iced tea and an egg sandwich at the Moxie Bread Company and watched a toddler and a dog share a croissant under the table while unknowing parents made 4th of July plans above.


On the way home, the slump returned. The sun came out from behind the clouds and the heat became oppressive, the nausea returned as did the cold sweats and fatigue. Feeling too tired to make it home, I dipped down to the left, off the path, into the tall grasses, following a faint footpath to the stream. I found a patch of shade where George and I had read and watched dragon flies together a week ago.


A tall strand of wheat-like grass swayed in the wind and brushed against my face, tapping me repeatedly on the shoulder, like an older sibling.


Finally, I noticed a small patch of something in front of me. Looking more closely, I saw trumpet-like flowers, smaller than freckles, and an insect the size of the smallest nail clipping. I watched this insect fly to each barely visible yellow trumpet for nectar, cleaning its legs while the wind tossed the plant furiously to and fro. How amazing the creative design of this almost invisible being

that allowed it to stay in place amidst the tempest. Did its legs have suction cups? Now I could see iridescence in its wings, purple, green and pink. I watched for 15 minutes before it flew out of sight.


Refreshed, I headed home.


May you find surprise today, the kind that interrupts in the best ways.


Love, Ali


PS: I will be in Leadville for the day this Tuesday, attending the meals, then celebrating the Eucharist at 5pm on the 9th at St George's.

If you're around, come on by.






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