Sundog –noun 1. parhelion. 2. a small or incomplete rainbow.

Happy Birthday Sundog Tales!

As the title implies, today is the one year anniversary of this blog. I’ve spent the last few days trying to decide what type of post to write for marking such a momentous occasion. I could write a review of the changes, or lack there of in many cases, seen in the last year. It could be a more typical post written about the changes Fall is bringing to the woods around me as the very landscape itself is drastically altered in an unusually brief period of time this year.

But instead I have opted for a different sort of post.

Life in the Woods:

Each day I am awakened by nature. This is much different than the life I had known the majority of my previous years. Where once there was an annoying alarm clock to call me back from dreamland and into a world of deadlines, traffic, and various social responsibilities; now there are even more annoying squirrels to jolt me from my slumber, though the world they bring me to is much kinder than that of their electronic brethren.

I have spent a lot of time contemplating this odd life of mine, for make no mistake, choosing to live in a tent year round in the Pacific Northwest is an odd and difficult lifestyle. Sometime I am very angry at how things have occurred and the small role I played in my situation developing to its current state of dysfunction. Despite the difficulties of multiple infections causing a downturn in health the last six months, those times are mostly eclipsed by how often I find myself enjoying life and where it is leading me this last year,

Overall there is this growing sense that my path was never to be an average American woman. Rather, it seems to be unfolding into something much forgotten and ignored in the high pace of today’s society, guided by a deeper connection to nature and all that thrives around me. The trials of pain, loss, and hardship I survived have brought me here, and I am a much more liberated woman now than I was ten years ago as a fiery, young activist.

I find it very freeing to be without the boundaries set by our modern society. I am coming to understand that some of these boundaries and walls are surprisingly insubstantial once you open your mind to being allowed to do something different.

Our society has made me feel less than a whole human being, less than someone who is considered a contributor with earned money as the only valuation means, and because of the label for my illness I am less in need of cures than someone with a more impressive label – such as cancer or AIDs, yet many have offered comparisons showing my labels are just as debilitating.

I am here to say I am not LESS, I am MORE!

I am more aware of the small wonders in life than your average person who takes for granted all the ease they have in each day. The warm home, hot shower each morning, clean clothing with minimal effort, and the simple ability of not having to question everything they come into contact with to find out if it is friend of foe to their body. My life has slowed down as the world I live in is timed by seasons, not calendars. This slower pace allows time to stop and enjoy a cool breeze on my face or a stray sunbeam through the trees.

I am also very aware of the changing seasons and how it affects the birds, making the young ones born this year very nervous because their world is seemingly dying around them while they are helpless to change it. “Wait until spring,” I keep telling them, “it will be alright again.” I watch all the animals and plants around me, each one miraculous in its ability to have adapted to be exactly what it is today – a harmonious part of a self perpetuating cycle of life.

And I am more because I am learning to slip the knots that society has tied around me, trapping my soul to this damaged body; always telling me that to be deeply ill is to be sad, silent, and unfulfilled.

There is a growing awareness that I have a unique opportunity to step out of the box I was born into; the box my culture built for me based on ideals and beliefs so easily conformed to. Born again out of the fires of extreme illness and hardship, I am now free to explore life from a new perspective – one of my own creation. Even though physical healing has been very little this last year – emotional, mental, and spiritual healing has progressed by leaps and bounds.

And so as I continue to explore what it means to be Lisa now, instead of living in who Lisa used to be, I will not be posting as regularly to Sundog Tales.

This blog has helped me grow beyond need of it. The people who have posted comments to it have helped give me confidence and a new sense of community, two things which have been seriously lacking as illness put chasms of distance between myself, and my relatives and friends. I will still post updates and the occasional interesting bit of life that comes from living outdoors, but it is time I turn my energies elsewhere for now.

Thank you to everyone who has made Sundog Tales mean so much to me. Lisa

9 responses

  1. Snez

    Dearest Lisa, :)

    I have been so priveleged to enter your world. I have a deeper sense of appreciation of what I have when I look through your eyes.

    Thank you for the gift of sharing yourself, your joys and challenges.

    I enthusiatically agree with you: You are MORE, AND you are valuable and you are significant :)

    I am happy to be part of your community of friends who love and support you, as you are for me. :)

    HUGS

    ps Your new-look blog looks good :)

    October 1, 2010 at 9:05 pm

  2. Snez

    PPS And a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO SUNDOG TALES! Congratulations on this big milestone.

    October 1, 2010 at 9:07 pm

  3. Happy Birthday, Sundog Tales! And congrats on your successes, Lisa. Keep up the lovely and poignant writing. Love the new blog look as well! :-)

    October 2, 2010 at 7:27 am

  4. Oops — I realize you said you won’t be updating as much, but I do hope you will continue to write when you can, as you do it so well. You will continue to be in my thoughts. Wishing you and Jeremy all the best.

    October 2, 2010 at 7:30 am

  5. MarkMc

    I admire your ability to stay happy and grow emotionally with your heatth situation. Provides hope, strenth, and insight for the rest of us.

    Wishing you well you folks well,
    Mark

    October 2, 2010 at 9:39 am

  6. Thank you very much Snez, Laurel and Mark! Its comments like all of yours that have made this experience so very worthwhile!

    Here’s to another year!

    Hugs big enough for everyone! Lisa

    October 2, 2010 at 11:20 am

  7. lol – my turn for the ps!

    I’m glad to hear the feedback on the site change. Its something I have wanted to do for about two months but never remembered at a good time. Yesterday seemed like a great time and I’m happy to have remembered! :)

    Hugs!!

    October 2, 2010 at 11:23 am

  8. PenguinTheif

    *bear hug!* A Sundog is you! Definitely a very beautiful change to the blog. I found myself envious of your description of the connection with the world around you. It’s so easy to forget the every day things we live with are unnatural.

    Glad to hear you have had a lot of inner growth and happiness. Personally, I believe that will lend it’s strength to your physical recovery as well. :)

    Shine brightly!

    ~Grant

    October 3, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    • *gasp!* Its a Grant! :D

      An excellent comment! I think you are very right that this will help lead to physical recover too. :D

      Big ‘ol bear hugs back! Lisa

      October 4, 2010 at 10:46 am

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