I'm not really sure why I'm writing tonight. I'm not sure I have anything relevant or meaningful to say. Today was wonderful. I felt great when I got up and I went out for an easy hike at a local park. After that, I picked up groceries. Shopping usually wipes me out, but I felt great even after putting away a car-load of stuff. After lunch, I went back out and picked up some pansies, then spent the afternoon planting them in the memory garden I made for my father this spring. Just as an aside, I bought yellow and blue flowers, because my dad was red-green color-blind. Blue and yellow were two colors he could reliably discern, so they seemed like the best choice.

After I finished gardening, I cleaned up, grilled a steak, and had supper. Then I went back outside and set up a fire in my fire-pit. I sat there, watching the flames as darkness gathered. It was a beautiful day, in every way. At nine o'clock, I got ready for bed. I settled in and took my medication. Saturday night is methotrexate night. Last week, I didn't feel sick the day after taking it, so I didn't expect any trouble this time. I was wrong.

I went to sleep almost right away, but woke up at four minutes 'til midnight, violently ill. After an hour of vomiting, I came back into the bedroom and laid down. I am very tired, but wide awake, riding waves of nausea. There's nothing left to come up at this point. Just dry heaves and shivering sickness.

I am sure that I will be exhausted tomorrow. I wanted to get up, go to church, and then enjoy the pot-luck afterward and a baby-shower for one of my co-workers. I don't know if I will be able to do that. It is 3 a.m., and I am sitting in the dark, listening to the wind rattle the leaves outside my window. The chimes on the front porch are endlessly ringing their music; no tune, no rhythm, just notes made random by the wind.

I am always restless in autumn. Some people want to hibernate during the dark seasons. I want to migrate. This morning, I stood by the river and watched geese in chevron flight, racing on to the next stage of their journey. I felt earth-bound and uneasy, weighed down by my body and chained to something unutterably dreary. My life? My past? My present? All of these things...?

I shook off that feeling and went on with my day, but tonight, as I sit in bed in the dark and listen to the wind, I am stirred by an emotion I just can't name. Years ago when I felt trapped by my past, I wrote a poem I called Lament; I don't remember the entire poem but I do recall a few lines:

I do not fear the wind in the trees at night
Though it shrieks and mutters through the dancing leaves
It whispers secrets better left un-uttered;
Tearing at the boughs, it moans and grieves

The second stanza is lost to memory, but the final one is still with me:

I do not grudge the wind it's nightly racing
If I could get free I, too, would fly
A rushing, streaming banshee in the moonlight
Gusting wild, escaping every tie 

I am actually very happy. Extremely so, in fact; probably happier than I have been in years. I am pursuing a masters' degree in a field I love. I am at peace with my past. My disease process is what it is, but I have come to terms with it, for the most part. I have wonderful, supportive, excellent friends. My daughters create joy in our home. Life is good. But when autumn comes, I still want to leave it all behind and just run away. I won't act on it - but the desire is so strong that it takes my breath.

Sigh...back to reality. The nausea is a bit less, and I am very tired. Thanks for reading this ramble. I warned you at the outset that it was meaningless; I hope you weren't disappointed or looking for anything profound. Sleep is elusive, but I finally feel like chasing it.

And so...good night.


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