Preparing for surgery

Before I left for Ethiopia last summer, I spent three days visiting my sons in Washington, D.C. While they were at work each day I spent quiet time alone, reading, writing, walking and thinking. It was a wonderful opportunity for me to settle my thoughts and prepare myself for the experiences to come.

Tomorrow I will be in a hospital operating room all day, watching a skilled surgeon perform open-heart surgery. It’s an opportunity few non-medical people will ever have and I am not taking it for granted. I want to be fully present, undistracted by my workday life, prepared to absorb and learn.

This time I went to the mountain preserve at sunset, seeking emotional and spiritual preparation. As I trudged around a gentle, circular trail, listening to the frantic yipping of coyotes on a nearby slope, I tried to quiet my mind so I would be ready for yet a new adventure.

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