Gratitude The Field: Travel Journal from Iceland

Gratitude The Field: Travel Journal from Iceland

On my trip to Iceland, I was hit by a wave of gratitude. I wrote the following in my travel journal in Hella after a long day of photographing Icelandic horses in a snowy field:

Almost a year ago, I had a pain in my back so severe I was unable to walk.

I was barely able to get out of bed. Even just trying to get out of bed was so painful.

This happened 5 times in 2018. I had to walk with a cane. I couldn’t pick up my children. I had suddenly shifted from a healthy, active person to being unable to do very basic tasks.

That first episode was scary. I wasn’t sure how long it would take the pain to subside, and unsure if I would be able to stand on my own, let alone walk.

The pain did subside and I was back to normal in a week’s time. This pattern repeated itself four more times in 2018. Each time, it was an awakening; the ability to do everyday tasks, things I’d taken for granted for so long, I would suddenly be unable to do. Things like hold a camera, play my guitar, sit on a comfy chair and read a book, take my children for a hike, hug my husband.

Today, as I held my camera, standing in an open field, looking through the lens at the shaggy faces of Icelandic horses, I felt so incredibly grateful. I thanked the universe for the ability for my body to heal and for the raw beauty in front of me.

That pain was intense. But I feel like I’ve been given another chance to embrace this magnificent world. And through photography, I hope to share the beauty I see.

Maureen Ballentine-Murphy

I feel ever so grateful everytime I travel.It is n emotional luxury for me!
Was your back problem ever diagnosed? My son & partner have a 10 month old..Lauren is getting severe lower back pain…she did have an epidural and was told sometimes a bit of nerve damage.
Anything like that?Maureen

Hi Maureen, unfortunately, it was never diagnosed. There was few ideas of what it might be but it just healed on it’s own after a week each time which was strange but I was quite happy that it took care of itself. I also had an epidural for Henry and Hector so that could also be a possibility. I’ll keep you posted if I ever get to the bottom of it!

Dear Jenny, I am very happy to hear that you are feeling so much better…I had no idea about your back. I hope you stay well and strong. Backs are so central to our well being! It is easy to take good health for granted.We all need to be reminded now and then! Take good care and enjoy!

Thanks Marie!! It was a huge awakening for my body and mind to take a step back and truly appreciate how lucky I am to be able to do everyday tasks. Even though it was a tough thing to go through it was also kind of refreshing!

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