Friday, October 19, 2007

An Indian summer

As part of group therapy the other day, we took the patients for a little walk around the hospital campus. We stopped in a common area for some hot chocolate and then headed outside. The hospital sits on a couple of acres. It's rather unimpressive, the grounds--lots of crabgrass, a few old, unused buildings. It was a beautiful day, though; and the leaves were just starting to turn, making the old trees on the property look almost regal and a little out of place amongst the rest of it.

I walked with a woman named Hazel. Hazel's been in the hospital for almost a year now, but she's facing discharge in the next few weeks. She has come to see this place as home, and she's a little scared and sad about leaving. As we walked, she said, "Hey, can I show you our garden?"

"You have a garden?" I said.

"Yeah," she said. "But, we haven't been out here in awhile, so it's probably a mess." She was right. It was a mess. But, things were growing in amongst the weeds and fallen leaves. We found a few peppers, lots of green tomatoes, and a head of cabbage. It was the cabbage that Hazel was most excited about. She sat down her hot chocolate, cleared away a few leaves, and picked it. "Here," she said, handing it to me. "You hold this while we walk."

And so we walked, her with the hot chocolate, me with the cabbage.

"You know, this is an Indian summer, this warm weather we're having. Ever since I was a little girl, I've liked these Indian summers." We stopped occasionally so she could collect a few leaves she planned to press later. "Do you like these?" she asked.

"Walks with you? Yes, Hazel, I like them very much."

7 comments:

Maria said...

I know you don't see yourself in this field, T...but I think you get it and unfortunately not too many do...

I think Hazel liked walking with you, too.

Cheryl said...

Very nice, T. That walk seemed to mean a lot to both of you.

Ms. Avarice said...

You're a gem.

Mme Benaut said...

Lovely.

CS said...

I was jsut reading down a bit and catching up. I think the combination of being willing to work hard and being compassionate and bale to meet people where they are will serve you very well regardless of which specialty area you are in.

Sassy Sundry said...

Terroni, I think you really might have found your field.

We just got new roses here. Indian summer is beautiful.

Alice Kildaire said...

I have to agree with Maria, you may have already chosen a field, but this one seems to be choosing you.