Cross-posted on Beating Back Cancer
She is my Sophisticated Lady, elegant, fine-boned, beautifully chiseled, and reserved. You might ask, which one. Fawn or white. (You guessed correctly if you chose the lady on the left, although the white llama is my soul mate.)
Almost timid; it runs in her bloodlines. Although she is a perfect weight, she is thinner than I would like, what animal people call a hard keeper. Because she will not spit off another llama at feeding time, I am her protector, her grain keeper, and I make sure she has her full measure. Because I hand feed her (the Spoiled Rotten Llamas plaque is so appropriate), each morning we share extra time together, facing first light as it moves slowly over our mountain.
There is a stillness as you watch the invisible made visible, light rising eerily behind a copse of trees, velvet muzzle on your hand, sounds from grain crunchers. In this shared time with one of God's elegant creatures, I ponder the day ahead. How can I make a text more relevant for my students. What about myself needs reinvention. Was my aunt's knee replacement a success. And I pray. "Lord, make me a blessing to someone today." (Jan Karon, At Home in Mitford)
Facing first light, I confront my fears, small as they are. Questions about the future progression of my disease, will it attack other organs, will it lead to leukemia, what are the first real symptoms I should look for, is there a cancer diet. Small things, really. But life fully lived, on my terms, always asks hard questions. Because I can ask them, I can face the answers, facing first light.