Whilst lying in bed during the post operative period, my mind had become increasingly toxic. It was as if my brain was literally stewing itself in a broth of negative thoughts and unresolvable conundrums.
Despite, going against my consultant's advice, I decided that I had to start walking again. At the time, the South East was experiencing a particularly miserable spell of weather. Day after day, the dark grey clouds moved silently overhead, like harbingers of doom. The atmosphere felt ominous, but despite these conditions, I knew that I had to get out of the house and face the outside world again.
As well as the adverse weather, I also had to contend with the throbbing pain emanating from my surgical wound, which, on this occasion, was located, inside my left buttock.
Tentatively, I took my first steps outside the front door. Waves of pain started to ripple out from my pelvic region, but as I continued onwards, it's intensity began to diminish. As my brain initiated its thought untangling mechanisms, the pain became a secondary concern. Interestingly, I soon realised that shifting the focus to other matters, was a far better pain killer than any of the ibuprofen based medicines, I had been taking. I noticed that as my cardiovascular rate increased, I could feel the throbbing pain recede by the same amount.
After another mile, I had finally reached the tree, I call the Skeleton Oak. I named it this by virtue of the fact, that it's leaves grow for a much shorter period of the year, than most of its peers.
For some reason, that I cannot fully explain, I decided to touch the tree. I think I just needed some reassurance. Oak trees have a robust, timeless quality about them. So, here I was, with dark skies above, feeling extremely unsure about my future. But, unbeknown to me, within a very short space of time, I would feel completely reinvigorated.
As I continued to touch the Skeleton Oak, a blanket of tranquility started to envelop the furthest recesses of my mind. It began to untangle the gnarled thoughts that had cemented themselves to my subconscious over the past 6 months. For some reason, I knew I would be OK
What I learnt that day, is that challenging oneself at a time, when hope seems to be in short supply, can produce a positive outcome.
And the most exciting part about this, is that many of these outcomes can appear from unexpected places.