Back Among The Living

It’s been nearly a year since the car wreck and I haven’t decided how to celebrate the anniversary: Stay off the roads… Or go back to spike a football in the spot of my collision. Getting back up on my feet has been a mental and physical journey during which I sometimes didn’t push hard enough and other times took on more than I was ready for. For instance, I should not have been climbing ladders and carrying things too heavy so early in my recovery. These ended up causing setbacks, sidelining me for weeks at a time.

Having been cooped up for so long, I was eager to feel back among the living.

A lot has happened since the accident:

My novel Blue Rubber Pool has been contracted for publication this September (2018). We’ve tackled the first round of revisions/edits and plan to have another go in June or July. Another novel is now under consideration by at least one literary agent and another manuscript has completed a second beta read. I’m halfway through writing a new story too.

And I’m driving again. Some. At first, the old Jaguar. But now, finally, the Jeep. I’ve enjoyed a couple top-down outings on back roads to places more boondock than even Pineapple Hill. It felt good. Led Zeppelin or Dire Straits blaring. Or just the wind.

I’m back in the vineyard—repairing what was neglect during my time in the hospital and by deer last summer. Glad to see resilience among some of the older vines. And glad to be adding new ones—babies—that will someday contribute to my winemaking trials and tribulations. Too, I am watching the peaches and blackberries grow and wondering, again, what I’m doing wrong with the apples.

Repairmen are tackling projects interrupted by that car pulling in front of us last May, projects my injury won’t allow me to enjoy completing myself.

I started shopping for another sailboat then decided to hold off until further along in my recovery. I’ve booked a trip back to the beach. I’m back in the hot tub again, tending my bananas and bamboo again. Taking care of elderly parents again—back to watching them slip further into the mist of dementia. Shouldering this yoke again puts me closer to back to normal again. The track I was on was on before.

The other day I found a small tree growing in the farm truck between the tailgate and the bed. Wonderful, isn’t it, how the universe hangs on, keeps going as George Harrison said: “Within you and without you.”

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—Tim Bryant
Author of Blue Rubber Pool
Surf Director at Pineapple Hill

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