It’s three years today since I was reborn.
This third year has been hectically busy. I’m writing fulltime. And studying again. Spending too much time on long roads. Although the brilliant skies are always an incentive to stick with it. Taking way too many pix of cats who give the impression that they couldn’t care less. I’m told they do care. And enjoying family and friends.
One of the enduring images of 2016 was the view of Signal Hill from the various hospital wards where I spent three months (on and off) before and after my heart transplant.
The hill was my sunrise and evening meditation from the window as I struggled towards the end of my life journey with H1 and while I grew strong again with H2.
I was intrigued about that row of trees just on the rise – was it a natural leftover after everything else was chopped down over the years? Did it signify anything from a past long forgotten?
I’ve walked on the hill many times, for exercise, enjoying the great outdoors, spiritual reflection. I’ve wanted to walk there again since my rebirth, see the view from that vantage point, have a vision beyond only the next step, feel the leg muscles burn, breathe full and clear.
But I guess I waited a bit. There was trepidation, not necessarily fear of H2 not up to the climb, just a slight hesitation. I guess fear of triggering as well – I remember really struggling during a family walk on the contour path in about 2015, thinking I was simply unfit.
In this third year, I decided to go stomping on the hill, enjoy the view from the other side, in a sense. I plan to go back again, and again.
There’s a great song from Amy Grant shortly after she started out:
‘I’d like to live on a mountain top, fellowshipping with the Lord… I’d love to stand on the mountain ‘cos I’d love to feel my spirit soar
‘But I’ve got to come down from the mountain top, to the people in the valley below, for they’ll never know that they can go to the mountain of the Lord.’
Down from the mountain, I spend a couple of hours on this third anniversary today working in my favourite East London coffee shop. The music belting out right behind me is an awesome playlist that includes some of my favourite pieces and some I would never have thought I could relate to. I wonder if my donor was the kind of person who would be up and dancing to this stream, and I’m almost tempted to just break out in a cool move in the middle of the floor. Of course, that’s not going to happen – because my donor’s presumed cool dance moves did not transfer with my H2.
(You may read into these songs what you wish.) They include Abba’s Dancing Queen, Aretha’s R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Cindi Lauper’s True Colours, Carole King’s Too Late, Don’t Go Changing, Gloria Gaynor’s I Love You Baby, The Temptations’ My Girl, Stevie Wonder’s You Are the Sunshine of My Life, Arthur’s Theme (When you get caught between the moon and Cape Town city), Whitney Houston’s I’m Every Woman, Ellie Goulding’s Your Song, Elton John’s Don’t go breaking my heart (I give you my heart), and Carly Simon’s Coming Around Again.
There are no sad pix here today. Not that I mind them; I love the opportunity to see where I’ve come from. And, of course, I know that my donor’s family will be reflecting on a life which ended three years ago today. But my gratitude for the gift of H2 also means that I cannot stop anticipating life, enjoying every extra moment I have been blessed to receive.
There are cats.
And we still find hearts wherever we are.