Mountain Sketch 2
I often come back to mountains and sunrises — around here, mountains almost always frame the rising sun. New days, new hopes, new beginnings; grace, hope, renewal; all these come together when I see mountains lit afresh by the sun. Wintertime can bring some of the most staggeringly beautiful days, with snow in the mountains and skies washed clean.

Okay, so my skills as a digital artist don’t exactly reflect the glory I’m describing. Don’t worry, I don’t plan on making it my day job… But it does mean I’m able to stay vertical and semi-thinking long enough to do something. Which is progress! Also probably signs of improvement are my noticing and starting to feel alarmed about the fact that suddenly we’re barely a week from Christmas, and I have a ton left to do. I guess I had planned on doing it the last couple weeks, when instead I just subsisted.

I’m also noticing and caring about the state of my house, which reflects the fact that we’ve shifted into mere survival mode the last couple weeks.

And, finally, I feel sad that I can’t go for a bike ride today. Still no expectation that I would, or should, because I can’t go outside and breathe without severe, relentless coughing, and Benji is still stronger and faster than me. Plus I can’t imagine that long exposure to 30-degree temperatures and vigorous physical demands will help with recovering.

Speaking of recovery, I cannot believe how Kryptonite-y phenumonia is. It really does suck all my strength. I’ve lost almost 10 lbs in the last 10 days, and let me tell you, it isn’t mostly fat (darn it! I worked hard!…and I guess I will work hard some more). I’m starting to understand that there won’t be some day when I bounce back and feel normal, and everything will go back to how it was. No; I’m going to actually spend time recovering.

I haven’t had a disease that required actual recovery in a long time. Again, I feel so grateful that my regular life doesn’t involve that kind of deep, debilitating illness that trashes all my plans, strains my relationships, and throws “normal” out the window. These last couple weeks (and the next few weeks of recovery, too, I imagine) have helped me remember and appreciate the most basic blessing of all: health. The expectation of waking up in the morning able to function, participate in life, and contribute to my family and coworkers is a blessing I take for granted every day. But for now, at least for a while, I’ll remember to stay grateful for even that simple, fundamental thing.

I’ll leave you with a sunrise photo I took, which may do a little better than my doodle at expressing why I love sunrise over the Cascade mountains.
Sunrise and Mt. Baker from San Juan Island

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