Hullo again, dear friends!

California Ground Squirrel, on stump

Well, what I thought was going to be a short break has turned into a full month of silence. Just in case anyone was seriously worried about my disappearance, let me assure you that I am fine.

All better and back to normal then?!

No. I can’t tell you that.

I used the words “uncomfortable” and “exhausted” in my last post and I think that is still a fairly accurate assessment of how I’m feeling these days. One of my dear friends sensitively commiserated that GI problems are tough because it’s not really something that is as socially acceptable to talk about in depth, the way one might if it was a broken bone or a bad cold. This is certainly true. And, when it does get discussed openly, it’s usually detailing a brief and unpleasant bout of some virus or bacteria that you picked-up which should resolve quickly with medication or of its own accord after a few days. My difficulties with my intestines are long standing though. Several decades, in fact. I am still uncertain why I am having such an acute and extended experience, but this is not the first time this has happened to me. Quite some time ago, I was extremely sick for almost a year before things started to seriously improve. Some people might call it “stress”. Most doctors would probably label it “Irritable bowel”. I have come to think of it as a wake-up call from my body or my spirit that they need some things I haven’t been able to give them lately. My task is to figure out what those things are and try to heal.

I thought about sharing in more depth what sort of remedies and therapies I’ve been trying, what my exact symptoms are, what seems to be working and what hasn’t. But… I don’t really want to.

I have always had a host of health issues. In addition to the intestinal stuff, I have several chronic pain conditions, long-term struggles with anxiety and depression, and I honestly don’t think I can remember what a “good-night’s sleep” actually feels like (it’s been too many years). Some of this may be new information for a few of you, but that’s because I never really wanted this blog to be about any of that. I wanted this space to be about JOY and DISCOVERY and my PASSION for nature. I’d like to keep it that way for the most part.

This past month has been full of challenges and changes, yet observing wildlife and the deep solace I perpetually find in being outside alone in the middle of it all remains unchanged. I have had to limit the amount of time I can spend wandering the hills and photographing, but my enthusiasm and delight in those marvelous things that I see every day here in the canyon has not been lessened in the slightest. This has been a great source of comfort to me and an important reminder of just how stable and crucial my connection with nature is.

I’ve decided that it makes no sense to try and predict how much or when I will be able to post here and share with you all. It seems unlikely that I will go back to regular daily posts anytime soon, but I do hope to return to doing what I truly love — sharing through photos and words some of the many experiences that daily open my mind, heart and soul to the beauty and flow of life around me. *GRIN*

Harsi / September 20, 2011 / not nature


  1. Chris - September 20, 2011 @ 11:58 pm

    Harsi! It’s good to hear from you again. You know, I had a dream the other night that you would update your blog again on the 20th (since that would make it exactly a month from your previous update…yeah, I have odd dreams sometimes), only to check your blog tonight to find that that prophecy had come true! But man, I am so sorry to hear though that even after a month you still aren’t feeling well 🙁 I am glad at least that you have been able to find time to do the things you enjoy despite your pains. Thanks for taking the time to give us an update, hope things start getting better soon!

  2. Harsi - September 21, 2011 @ 8:42 am

    Good morning, Chris! So cool to hear about your dream… as we’ve discussed, I have my fair share of “odd” dreams too, so you know I can relate. Much as I am trying to pay less attention to numbers of all kinds — e.g., how many days I’ve been sick, how many hours of sleep I’ve gotten, how many calories I manage to eat every day, etc., etc. — I still find myself somewhat drawn to the cycles and symmetry of certain times and dates. I wasn’t sure until yesterday, but I think I sort of knew I would need to post again at the one-month mark… I guess you knew too. *GRIN* Thank you for your sympathy and concern. I am (of course) hoping to return to a more normal state of health, but it really isn’t all bad. Those that have never been chronically ill may not know that the enforced slowing down and solitude of being sick can make you focus on things that you might not otherwise. It’s a way (albeit an uncomfortable one) of getting your priorities in check. I suspect that when I do turn the corner, I will emerge wiser, happier and more focused. One of the absolutely HUGE positive things that has already come from all of this is that I am going to bed around 10 or 11 PM and getting up at 6 AM!!! My entire adult life I have struggled with staying up too late and missing out on the early morning hours — a prime time to be out if you want to see wildlife and have nice light for photographing. I can’t wait until I have a bit more energy and can fully take advantage of this new schedule. Thanks again for being so supportive, Chris. You’re the best!

  3. John Pearson - September 22, 2011 @ 6:36 am

    Hello Harsi, it is good to hear from you again. Your postings are indeed full of joy, discovery and passion for nature! Thank you for them and for your willingness to share them despite setbacks with your health. I’ll continue to enjoy them at whatever pace you choose to set. -John

  4. Harsi - September 22, 2011 @ 9:04 am

    And a very good morning to you, John! Funny… I was just thinking about you yesterday as I muddled over some mystery plant images in my photo files. Thank you for your kind and encouraging words, it truly means so much to me. Slowing down hasn’t been easy and I’m still trying to get the hang of it, but (as I’m sure you know from your time outdoors) sometimes that is the best way to discover the hidden gems that you might miss rushing around from one place to another. *GRIN* Speaking of hidden gems, I so enjoyed your post on Red Rock Lake earlier this month! Your description and photos of the “fossil forest” there set my imagination ablaze. I would love to spend a few hours investigating and seeking out some of the many treasures waiting there. Your inspired closing words “the world is a big and interesting place…” have lingered with me. You have my reciprocated thanks for this and all the other wonderful adventures you write about.


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