In a disorientated week sandwiched between a summer of crazy weeks, yesterday was blocked off for free time. It was a to be a girls’ day out–seven of us with a friend who is leaving soon. You don’t celebrate these things; you just acknowledge them and squeeze the goodness out of each minute.
On the train to Warsaw, we talked logistics and plans for the next weeks on Hope Singers. We found a restaurant in the city center and I had my favorite Polish soup, chłodnik: cold sour cream purple with beet juice and thick with grated beets and fresh dill. Fantastic! The pink color is enough to charm me well before the lush flavor hits.
We rented bikes in Powiśle and followed the bike path for nearly ten kms toward Wilanów. It was easy cycling, mostly flat, through shaded parks and past apartment blocks. We took our time. The sun was hot and I was thirsty so I stopped at a roadside fruit stand and bought a treat: fat sweet cherries and blueberries. It was better than water or chocolate, which is saying a lot.
I was last in the string of seven, not being as speedy as some of them, but enjoying every minute. Suddenly, turning a corner, I recognized where I was.
Just down the road behind that building is the hospital where I was last December. Maybe I will always be fragile regarding hospitals and operations and waiting rooms because it all washed over me again and I couldn’t stop whimpering. Hysterectomy, that nasty word, and how it shook up the surgeon because it was so much worse than she was expecting it to be, the units of blood and brick of ice on my stomach for hours and me out of my mind in pain.
It was just down around the corner, eight months ago, and now I was biking past, eating fat sweet cherries from my bike basket, wearing sunglasses, the breeze drying my tears.
I don’t know how the heart expands to hold so much sadness and gladness in one day, and even in one moment. But it does.