Tuesday, April 14, 2009
So much has been going on lately and I have been feeling completely overwhelmed. I recently returned from a check-up at Mayo where I received news that I have two tumors in my liver that are growing. One of these two tumors is lying very close to my stomach and would be very difficult to reach without doing an open surgery. So I return to Mayo in a couple of weeks to meet with my oncologist, a liver surgeon, and an endocrinologist to discuss possibilities and likely schedule a surgery. On top of that, my husband's grandmother has been hospitalized and then yesterday moved to a nursing home. That is hard in itself, but my husband is power of attorney for his grandmother and as such has been having to deal with all the logistics of these changes as well as the emotional aspect. AND my car has been causing us no end of trouble finally resulting today in Lulu (my car) being sent for a time-out at the mechanic's and me driving around a weird smelling rental car. That's all in addition to the normal craziness that goes on around here. It's been quite a week!
As a result of all of the craziness, I have been thinking about and longing for the places that make me feel like my troubles aren't so big. One of those places, one of my favorite places, is The Giant's Causeway in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The Causeway
"is an astonishing complex of basalt columns packed together, whose tops form 'stepping stones' leading from the cliff foot and disappearing under the sea."The Causeway is beautiful and vast. The sea, at times, comes roaring up and splashing over the stones, constantly washing, yet never washing away, this marvel of nature. That alone can make one and one's problems seem small. For hundreds of years thousands of people have visited The Causeway. They have walked over the same stones that I walked on, gazed out across the same water that I did, carried their own set of troubles to this rocky shore just as I did, and marveled at the grandeur and beauty of it all just as I did. Stopping and thinking about all the people and lives The Causeway has seen and, through its endurance and unchanging nature, linked together also makes me and my own problems seem not so large anymore. And then, The Causeway is a place of legends, legends of giants and how they placed and tread upon the beautiful massive stones. I think it would be very difficult to think about giants and not to feel small.
And so I long to be back in that place of giants. To sit again in The Wishing Chair and cast my troubles and prayers out over the sea. To let the sea spray and wind wash over me and and carry my troubles away. To just sink into those ancient stones and let the enormity and beauty of the place dwarf and humble me. And that is where you will find me tonight, walking where the giants walked and letting my burdens be shrunk and then carried away on the winds that sweep over the coast. And I can't help but think that even on the rainiest day, when my heart is heavy and feeling much too large for my chest, that there are always beautiful and gentle giants, giants of all sorts, that are able to carry me through my troubles.