Sometimes the holiday season is just upon me, unannounced points of light pristine as newly fallen snow. It is joy uncontained, this magic of my holiday heart, a music all its own.
This year, I am very like the boy in “Walking in the Air.” The music is new to me but in England it is a beloved Howard Blake song written for the 1982 television adaptation of Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman. It is a traditional holiday favorite.
Perhaps that is how holiday traditions are made. New only one time and for all the holidays yet to come, remembered, sometimes as magic.
In ways unforeseen, feline EmmaRose and I are exploring our own version of walking in the air. In keeping with the title of this post, she is on steroids. For that matter, so am I.
It has not been what I would have anticipated for either one of us.
As you can see, most flights of fancy are in EmmaRose’s dreams. That said, there are moments the catnip mouse flies through the air, ever prey to EmmaRose’s declawed but deft paws. Usually, a serious nap follows. This has always been her way.
EmmaRose has reached a certain age where chronic inflammation in her gastrointestinal tract is now permanent. Prednisone gives EmmaRose a chance to keep her life as she has known it. In all things, same old, same old is EmmaRose’s idea of walking in the air. The even keel is her joy.
As a woman of a certain age with an increasing number of chronic health conditions, I, too, aim for the joy of even. Every morning I check our respective steroid doses on the daily calendar. EmmaRose’s is in liquid form, which she prefers dribbled on flakes of tuna.
I take my tablets with warm, lemon water and set the timer for an hour. I meditate; EmmaRose naps.
Meditating on steroids is not a busy blur. Just the opposite, actually. In the opalescent hours, dark and not far from morning–dawn’s assurance lurks–my body stills into one breath after another.
Inflammation signals, initially insistent as pain, ebb. More like soft points of light than not. Tramadol fans the flames of burning joints into embers as Gabapentin wends its way through the maze of misfiring nerves.
Within the hour, my body finds its balance to begin the day. There will be constant shifts as medicine and body seek mutual agreement. Cooperation is fluid.
I am “floating in the midnight sky,” glimpsing the possibilities a life with traditional medicine may offer. The points of light are innumerable. Such is the dawn of change.
But even change will not stay. One cannot hold onto the midnight blue for it is only a moment’s ride. Always, the magic lasts just long enough for us to remember to believe.
Whether or not we go walking in the air is our choice. We can enrich our experience as much or as little as we choose. We are not confined by what our bodies can or cannot do.
Our most powerful tool—our curiosity, our ability to imagine—is what wraps and re-wraps the world so that it once again is new and shiny.
To go walking in the air is to “take the world by surprise,” to open our arms to joy, believing nothing is impossible. It only takes a moment to believe. And then our feet touch the ground.
To accept that walking in the air is as necessary as keeping our feet on the ground is to know joy, ours to live or not.
It is a game of catnip mouse with declawed paws.
It is the awe of experiencing each moment for none can ever stay.
Sometimes we walk in the air. Sometimes our footsteps are one in front of the other, grounded. It is an ever shifting balance.
Happy holidays. You are all points of light.