This morning, I rode my bicycle the twelve miles to the office and everything was suddenly right with the world. There was the scent of woodsmoke in the air, reminiscent of so many evocative memories that they merge into a mass of good-feeling in my chest. The birds were happy in the hedges and I swallowed my first flies of the year. All was good and my mind felt free to roam and reflect without any undue direction from me.
So, suddenly, it seems, two years have passed and I feel fully recovered finally. Just after the second anniversary of my neurological mishap, I find my sleep patterns have returned to normal, implying that mechanical healing is now probably finished and I no longer need the system to be down for so long to accomplish all the repairs to be undertaken. Finally, I can awake, as I did before, at a reasonably early hour, have a cup of tea and then do my half hour or so of yoga in the mornings, watching the long-tailed tits and goldfinches fussing about in the birch trees in the garden.
It is a joyous time of year. The cherry blossoms invite pauses on my ride to the office, just for the sheer wonderment of beholding such a beautiful sight, free-of-charge and readily available, for this short time only, at the side of the road. The world is filled with a kind of potential which now being whole again, I can approach in a spirit of exploration and with no fear of being mentally overwhelmed.
I find myself deeply enthused by such simple things as baking sourdough bread and brewing beer from the sacks of malted barley that reside in my wardrobe (for want of a better place to store them). The departure of both my offspring to university hundreds of miles away, no longer requiring my assistance or attention and seemingly self-sufficient in their everyday lives (apart from my substantial financial contribution) leaves a space which I feel quite happy about filling.
Life is pretty good.
Someone recently asked me if I would rather my haemorrhage hadn't happened. Would I have preferred that that two years ago a tiny bleed had not rearranged my brain? Though small, barely discernible in the scans in fact, on a functional level, a physiological level it was so profound as to be absolutely devastating both mentally, and for a shorter time, physically.
The answers is no. that it happened has brought profound positive insights, as often brushes with one's mortality do. The experiences I have had have changed me forever for the better. Perspectives were dislodged and replaced by better ones. Lost capabilities were painstakingly rebuilt, and the implications noticed and built upon, allowing for new skills to be developed. I learned to dance tango, which arguably, I wouldn't have done otherwise. I went to Istanbul. I developed memory strategies to overcome the difficulties I still to some extent have with the conceptual routes to certain memory functions. So much is better now.
I feel entirely recovered. And somehow augmented. Lucky me!
And that shall be an end to it. Now is time to get on and live the substantial remainder of a life I almost lost.I feel like writing again. There will be more. But not about this subject. That chapter, though bookmarked, is closed.