• Dina Stander

We are all well enough...


I am not a person who harbors fears or overthinks risks. I have been known to throw caution to the winds. I have stepped off the edge and waded in. Today, I woke at four in the morning and listened for the first birds to sing in the day. I waited for the way fear was drumming a 'hell no' in my head to subside, but it did not. I got up early and watered the garden, gave the dog a long time to ramble, sat talking to the tomatillos and poblanos, the onions and cukes. That one striped zucchini. The jalapeño and basil companions. The generous calendula in all the corners. The cosmos, beans, and the volunteers (we can't tell what they are yet). Checked in with the nasturtiums and mountain mint and that vine from Mexico that has been such a tenacious friend. Even the tomatoes which I am allergic to, all volunteers from the compost we added to the beds, all transplanted to the edge of town with good soil and within range of the hose. Mercy, they sighed when I rained on them this morning. Well water here, when summoned it rises unadulterated in a blessing, deep from the ground. Breathing. Wiggling my toes in the dirt. I peek in on the bumble bees that have been sleeping in the squash blossom pollen and are starting to buzz awake before the sun tops the trees. This is where I go when I wake up too early and any time I need to quiet the fear drum so I can listen to my own body. I came inside then and had a nap in my favorite chair, the same one I strapped into the back of a van last year so I could drive out to Minnesota and nap along the way. I talked on the phone to a poet friend who has also been known to step off the edge. And then called and cancelled the medical test I was scheduled for today. I have more questions and they need to be answered before I risk covid exposure in a medical facility. I cancelled the test, then I texted my family, then I called my doctor's office and spoke with the clinical nurse who charted my decision. And now I am sitting. Breathing. Wiggling my toes. Happy to have ridden my wave of medical ptsd without wiping out. Pleased that I've taken my own advice and passed on the MRI machine for today. Bang slam wah wah bam. Hoping other recent imaging and baseline films in the archive offer some other way to see inside my skull. I am not a refusenik patient and I have chronic disabling health conditions that need some imaging to monitor. And it is so easy for a doctor I have never met and won't yet see for another 8 weeks to order some test without asking any questions. I just get a call that the test is scheduled, then I am pre-screened for covid symptoms and told when to come. The words on my lips when I woke up at four this morning were, "why are we doing this?". So me, myself, and I all went out to the garden, where the water blessed our feet and cooled our fears. Today I am staying home. There is time enough to see what is happening in my skull. Time enough to calm the medical ptsd and for more reliable covid testing to be implemented. So that a routine test doesn't scare the crap outta me in the wee hours. Breathing. Wiggling my toes. Grateful that the earth sings back through the soles of my bare feet. We are all well enough in the moment. Mercy.


Here is a little slow motion taste of a bumble bee in the squash blossoms!



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Contact:

Dina Stander

dinastander15@gmail.com

(413) 237-1300

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