I seek the fire. As the autumn sets in, as the winter approaches, I seek the warmth of the flames. As the pressures of my day to day life intensify around me, I look for the strength that the comes from facing a fear, from overcoming an obstacle. I seek the fire.
The colours of autumn are rich and deep around me. I breathe deeply of their intensity, drawing their strength into my body as I walk. I send my energy down into the earth, up into the sky, anchoring myself. I walk purposefully, my footsteps firm on the path before me. It is late afternoon and the light is clear and strong. It will begin to fade, soon, but for now I walk amidst this clear, strong light and drink deeply of its strength.
I face challenges that frustrate and threaten to overwhelm me. My lovely mother, aging gracefully, now needs the care that cannot be provided in her own lovely home. She falls and needs the care that only a hospital can give. She becomes frail and needs the care that only a care home can give her.
I meet many people as I face the inevitable. Hospital staff. Social work staff. Care home staff. Financial assessment staff. My daughter supports me. We do this together. We find a care home that will be able to care for my lovely mother, her lovely grandmother.
It is not easy, this journey we make, and we meet many other families making this same difficult journey, caring for our frail and elderly loved ones while navigating a system that seems unnecessarily complicated and lengthy, too lengthy for our elderly loved ones who do not have the luxury of time to waste on complicated systems. It is not easy, this journey. I seek the flames to give me the strength to navigate this system, to find the care that will care for my lovely mother.
My walk in these woods this late autumn afternoon is short as I have commitments to fulfil, meetings to attend. But I take the time, to draw strength from the colours around me, the scents and sounds of autumn, the peacefulness of these woods on this late autumn afternoon.
The energy is strong and I am grateful. My mind becomes clear, my sense of purpose renewed. The path before me lightens as I am given the gift of strength from the strong energy that has been gifted to me on this late afternoon walk.
I do not know how long my lovely mother will have in this lovely care home that my daughter and I find for her. She has lived a rich and full life and claims no regrets about the life that she has lived. I stop my mind from moving too far ahead to a future that is not yet known, to an end that we have not yet reached. For now, amidst the rich beauty of this beautiful woodland that generously shares its energy with me, I am simply grateful that we find a care home that will care for my lovely mother for the time that she has left.
As I turn for home, moving out of the woods and onto the path that takes me home, light breaks through. The last light of the day lights my way as I take the short walk that takes me home. A soft, warm, gentle light.
Strengthened by the intensity of the energy that I have been gifted with by the woods I walk in, I receive the message of this softer, warmer light with equal gratitude. I will be strong, I will be gentle as I walk with my mother as she walks these last days of her journey. For as many, or as few, of the precious days that we have left with her, I will remain strong and gentle, and enormously grateful for the gift that is my lovely mother and all that she is, and has been, to me and all who love her.