Just before I left home I noticed a telltale bullseye on my ankle. “Just what I need,” I thought. “Lyme disease.”
I stopped at a clinic on the way out of Vermont and filled the prescription for the heavy-hitting three weeks of antibiotics. Both the doctor and the pharmacist told me, “Make sure to stay out of the sun while you are on this.”
Easy for them to say. I am about to embark on two weeks in the Wyoming desert, followed by weeks at high altitude above tree line with the sun reflecting off the snow. I bought more sunscreen and worked on relaxing.
I decided not to be upset at the time-delay stopping at the clinic took. Instead I focused on the opportunity it gave me to get in one last visit with a friend who lived near the clinic. She bought me a last Vermont meal. It was delicious. Then we waited in line for an ice cream cone. When we reached the window we were told that they guy in front of us had paid for our ice creams.
It was then I became aware of my focus. By not stewing over the Lyme disease, I was able to really be grateful for my day. Look at the kindness I would have missed if I had not have gotten Lyme and needed to stop at the clinic.
Mary Anderson is writing a book about her trek along the 3,000-mile Continental Divide Trail, a journey of healing that she began in her sixties. Mary hiked the southern half of the trail in 2020 and is undertaking the northern half in 2021. Read more of Mary's story.