I wake up, laying in our tent, buried under two fat fluffy winter sleepingbags. I hear the birds sing their first song, I breath the crispy air and when I peek under the fly I see the grass shimmering with ice crystals. It’s friday and it’s the first day I don’t think of the diagnosis first thing in the morning. It’s maybe my second thought, but still…

This weekend we teach apache scout skills in our wilderness school. Our students learn how to move through nature, unheard, unseen, leaving no trace. It’s not only a set of physical skills but the real power comes from mental skills, a strong mind and a hungry but peaceful soul. Daniel and I teach them how to walk, run, crawl as silent as can possibly be; how to listen to their intuition; how to merge with the environment.

It’s funny how after just a few days back at home in our tiny cabin in Germany, I feel a bit better already. As if nature, the birds and the deer I meet early in the morning soothe my soul. It doesn’t change a thing about my situation, hip dysplasia is still hip dysplasia, but it does change the way I deal with it. Of course I’ve been in shock the first few days, and even now it’s still on my mind for most of the time, but it’s crazy how it already starts to teach me… Life works in mysterious ways!
I know everything can be used as a wake-up call, anything, even the smallest, but often we (well at least I) don’t see it, we don’t use it, we let it slide by and wait for something bigger to finally shake us up and kick our ass. So much is out of our hands and at the same time sooo much is in our hands. We have the power to decide. Like what the answer is to the question of Mary Oliver’s poem “The Summer Day” so often quoted all over the internet: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” (The fact alone that I/we can ask this question, puts me/us in an privileged position.)
I’ve been receiving quite some wake-up calls in the short 32 years of my life. One louder than the other. Some I didn’t wanna take, others were really just a chat. But yes, here we go again, this is the loudest wake-up call since my mountain lion encounter, this is once again the reminder that I don’t have time to waste, that I shouldn’t wait until tomorrow, that LIFE IS HAPPENING NOW! This is it. Life. With all its ugly and beautiful faces, with all its nights and days and inbetweens. Just like nature. Inbetween the mud and the clear blue sky anything is possible.
Anything… like hiking to Canada? I’m sure it’s possible. But maybe what I need to learn here is that staying true to myself (and being good to my body) is more important than staying true to the thru; maybe I need to learn that dreams are not shattered just altered; maybe I need to learn that I don’t have to worry so much about what others think. It is truely time to hike my own hike, even if that includes a bike.

Am I enlightened now? Hell no, I spend my fair amount of time crying in the closet (asking silly questions like “why me?” and “why now?” haha, I know, I’m sure I’ll be over that phase soon ;c).
Did I hear the wake up call? Yes I did. One moment I take it, the other I don’t but eventually I will face it and I will get through. I am alive. And I am grateful! And though the title of my last post was “fighting the storm” I now feel like “fighting it” isn’t the right expression. Rather I accept it and I will deal with it and I will make the best out of whatever crosses my path.

When I get out of the tent the sun is climbing the sky already. The ice crystals have disappeared. My students have prepared breakfast and coffee. Nature is like a plaster to my wounded soul.
The sun, the birds, the smell of spring in the air. Boy am I lucky!
Life is now! Live it now! Don’t wait until tomorrow!!!
Love, Cat

PS: I plan to live my one wild and precious life to the fullest! No matter what!

6 thoughts on “Live NOW!

  1. Aww Cat, I love your perspective and how you are handling this. This a picture of life. A full and well lived life comes from how we respond to those wake up calls. It’s a series of course adjustment and, at times, complete detours that hit us as we are “planning” our lives. Then as we look back down the road from whence we came we can say…That was rich. I wouldn’t have written it this way, but I wouldn’t change it either! As the saying goes… “Life is best understood looking backwards. Still, it must be lived looking forward” I believe they call that adventure! Yeah, sign me up!

    Cycling up through California, Oregon, Washington or wherever will be amazing! Make sure you hit the Cascade Lakes Highway in Central Oregon (And lots of other places around there too!) And did I mention Big Sur? Monterey? The eastern side of the stunning Sierra?? (I’m drooling!) You better extend your Visa!

    Healing to you and have fun making plans for this new adventure that has burst onto the horizon! You are living your life well!


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Still a blog responding rookie, so to hell with the sharks, I’ll jump right in and write what I feel.
    Love the way you write about your experiences.
    There is a sacredness and joy, (or as you would say….A HELL YEAH..,) about experiencing raw nature and being part of it.
    I stumbled upon this Navajo chant/mantra about 30 years ago. I think it captures the essence of this feeling. It is called “The Pollen Path”.
    Beauty before me. Beauty behind me. Beauty to the right of me. Beauty to the left of me. Beauty above me. Beauty below me. Beauty inside me. Beauty outside me.
    I am on the Pollen Path.
    In the house of life I wander, on the Pollen Path.

    I know, whatever it takes, you will one day cross to the Canadian border at that monument, be it hiking, biking or even if you have to have a helium balloon strapped to your ….. backpack.
    And, yes, I’m Canadian. (Insert joke here…. eh?) Anyway………… Let me extend a great Candian welcome when you get to that goal.
    All the best Cat, have a great journey be it hikin’ or bikin’.
    And to use a “60’s” vernacular ……… “Keep on Trucking”.
    Thank You, Robert

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Robert! HELL YEAH I’ll keep on trucking!!! :c) Thanks for the Navajo chant; I love it! OMG yeah a helium balloon sounds good too to get over the border hahaha. That would make a hell of a view!!! PS: Haha we Belgians don’t make jokes about Canadians, only about the Dutch (but I do have some awesome Dutch friends so it really are jokes), so you got nothing to worry about, there are no sharks in the belgian waters ;c) Thanks for your encouraging message! Cat


  3. You’ve got this!!! “dreams are not shattered just altered” That’s a powerful realization. I can’t wait to see where your journey brings you, but I know it will be amazing and beyond your wildest dreams. Thanks for sharing with us, because your candor itself helps us all remember how precious life is. Will be rooting for you! Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

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