Cherry Blossoms Deconstructed by Janine Donoho

The illusive Sakura no Kisetsu

The illusive Sakura no Kisetsu

What 1 month's travel looks likeThroughout March’s billowy gusts and slushy melts, I learned one hundred Japanese words and phrases promised to express 1,000 ideas. Two hour hikes with Nina Sophia filled with practice sessions until she recognized “O-tearai wa loko desu ka?” as an important question, although probably not as “Where’s the bathroom?” By the Ides of March, I knew the names of the snow monkeys inhabiting Jigokudani Park. My 21-inch ultralight suitcase was packed and ready to go for a month of Sakura no Kisetsu—cherry blossom season—in Japan. Except that’s not what happened.Packing light

Instead I picked Intrepid Guy up from the Penticton, B.C. on his way to a hospital stay followed by six to eighteen months of trudging toward remission. Trust me, we’d have preferred Sakura no Kisetsu. I unpacked my luggage in half an hour, and then stashed it on a high shelf where I wouldn’t be confronted daily with wretchedness. Except that’s not what happens.

The packing processAs my sweet guy tackles this autoimmune nightmare with a medieval regime of drugs that fail to address the issue while killing what was once an entirely beneficial immune system, I’ve put my head down to get through it—again. Frankly, this “leaning in” attitude has gone on a decade too long. Instead of cherry blossoms, we’ve changed course. Yes, I serve as Intrepid Guy’s support system, and he keeps his eyes on the prize of reclaimed health. Even so, I’m discovering petite aventures that keep me close enough for the daily toil, yet allow me to plump up my dehydrated spirits. A

Mt. St. Helen's knee

Mt. St. Helen’s knee

trip north to Penticton, British Columbia, went well until a bad cartoon fall left me with a Mt. St. Helen’s hematoma on one knee, a broken nose, and a jaw that’s not quite right. After six weeks, an ergonomic cane suffices for those times when the healing knee buckles. Still I’m back to condensed jaunts elsewhere, which alleviate a graceless tendency to gnaw my own paws. Today I muse over how others deal with setbacks—or worse.

What kinds of setbacks have you experienced? How did you deal?Thinking light

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Barbara Radisalvjeivc
    Jun 09, 2015 @ 02:21:37

    You have my sympathy. I’m dealing with some physical setbacks that are making it hard to go on my photo walks, since something appears to be wrong with a toe joint replacement I had 16 months ago. The orthopedic doctor said I will eventually need surgery to fix my knee problems. When one is used to taking walks, this is bad news. Yet I’m thankful I can still do necessary walking and some lifting, and I can also do my computer work. My problems are nothing compared to what is happening to your Intrepid Guy. I hope he will heal and you can both begin to live normally again and see those cherry blossoms next year.



    • janinedonoho
      Jun 11, 2015 @ 22:42:13

      Thank you so much, Barbara, and I wish you well, too. You seem to have a plan and your “Books to Remember” page allows glimpses of your lovely spirit—along with your grace in the face of loss.



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LaunchFebruary 27, 2015
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