Just a little over a year ago I posted a blog about my breast cancer diagnosis. It was a scary time that brought some of my life’s most important teachings. I learned lessons I wouldn’t have learned any other way and came to terms with my own mortality. It was a year of immense healing. I didn’t expect to be dealing with cancer again so soon. On Friday I got the call that the labs from my thyroid surgery indicated papillary cancer, a slow growing type. Once again, I am assured by many that it’s the “good kind of cancer.” Evidently I have more to learn about this disease, and more to learn about myself. Last year’s cancer seemed to focus around healing my heart in a multitude of ways. This year, it’s about voice.
Twenty-one years ago when I had the left side of my thyroid removed, I was not only the director of the school, but also taught second grade. The surgery was the Thursday or Friday before the last week prior to winter break, the week we put all finishing touches on the Celebration of the Winter Solstice dances. It wasn’t a week I felt I could miss. So Monday I returned to school with the drainage tube still taped to my chest. I have no idea how I made it through that week but I do remember sleeping my way through the entire two week break. I also recall completely losing my voice for six weeks. Teaching second grade at the level of a whisper is quite a challenge. Not wanting to be without my voice, I decided a week of resting it in silence would be a good idea this time. And even though the drainage tube was removed before I was discharged from the hospital, I accepted this gift of time.
Although the residual yet-to-be-addressed medical issues still hover around in my mind, I am approaching this week a time to seek clarity about the Seed, the people who are a part of it, and my continuing role as its leader. It’s a rare time for pause in a full life. I am making art, writing, sleeping, and figuring out what’s next. As I heal my voice, my physical body and my heart-mind, I anticipate returning to school with a renewed understanding of the Seed’s intention as a presence on the planet. In the days ahead as my voice becomes stronger again, I hope I will be able to articulate the Seed’s vision in deeper ways.
While adding the last few lines of this writing, I notice in the garden three yellow finches clinging tightly to branches whipping around in the breeze. Although it looks like a wild ride for such tiny creatures, they appear so calm. That’s how I want to be. Maybe that’s what this latest turn of events in my life is all about.