Practice Hope – By Pat Derry. Member Blog, Day 12

It didn’t seem possible!

Suddenly I was forced to sit quietly at home, leaving the work I loved! But vertigo was relentless; conversing for an hour was too much. I reluctantly accepted my new reality.

My daughter became my guardian angel, and the care and prayers of family and church family lifted my spirits. I contemplated, “What now? What gives me joy?”

I began with a favorite devotional followed by prayer, with ample time for both.

Then a friend who knew me well, delivered the book, “Earth Gospel: A Guide to Prayer for God’s Creation.” Immediately I loved it!

Eventually I could read outside in the warmth of spring and I was deeply moved. An idea took shape in my heart. The “wild, unattended” hill behind my house was asking to be cared for and loved. I realized the quiet, the chirping of birds, squirrels, and the rustle of the wind calmed me, filled me with peace. I felt healing!

I discovered I could sit, pull weeds, and dig in the earth without triggering vertigo. I bought sturdy garden gloves!

Every day I read, pulled weeds, and dug in the soil of the hill. Retired friends came to do heavy work; other friends supplied funds for native plants and mulch. I bought a small fairy door for the large cottonwood and my imagination soared. I loved this hill and all who lived here with me – plant, animal, and fairy!

I learned a granddaughter was on the way, and a puppy joined me. Healing did come, and my heart expanded to embrace plants and butterflies, bushes and birds, a furry companion and a miracle baby. Hope was alive!