I awoke before the songbirds this morning and lay gazing at the moonlight seeping through my bedroom skylight weighing the value of rising to enjoy a helping of delicious solitude against the consequence of needing sunglasses to hide my tired, droopy eyelids later in the day. My rusty old hip ultimately tipped the scale in favor of wandering stealthily down our steep 19th century staircase, careful not to wake anyone, to check the medicine cabinet for a pain reliever to swallow along with an intoxicating mug of warm coffee.
I broke my right hip six years ago in a freak dog walking accident. A pit bull puppy in my charge took me for a ride on a patch of shear ice in his quest to gobble up the neighbor’s outdoor tabby cat. I braced myself awkwardly with my strong 34 year old leg preventing both a fall and and the unhappiness of a grieving neighbor, but not a stress fracture in the largest bone in my twisted body. I hobbled around with what I thought was simply a strained muscle for weeks before the fissure in my hip reached a full breaking point. I fell to the floor in the entryway of my parent’s home, dog leash in hand, at first unable to comprehend the fact that I was physically unable to stand, finally dragging myself to the telephone on my elbows to arrange babysitting for my son and an ambulance for myself. Two surgeries and six years later, my hip still feels closer to 90 years old than its actual 40 years particularly if I overexert it with exercise or if an undesirable weather front is approaching.
I felt a dull ache in my side indicating that sunglasses may not in fact be an appropriate fashion accessory for the approaching day, faintly smiling through the discomfort as I pondered the contortions I may have unwittingly subjected my faulty hip to during a bedtime encounter with my handyman. I flipped on the bathroom light, my pupils initially protesting against the abrupt transition from darkness, and gazed at a medicine cabinet completely free of prescription painkillers. No Oxycontin or Percocet for me.
Unlike some New Hampshire residents who took offense when Donald Trump referred to our state as a “drug infested den,” I simply shrugged. It was a truer statement than most of the nonsense that spews like exhaust from the corroded exhaust pipe that is his mouth. I’ve witnessed first hand the evolution of a painkiller habit to death by heroin overdose in several members of my peer group. I have a death toll of former classmates who took what started as a pill snorting craze to an extreme that ultimately destroyed them. I therefor choose not to keep painkillers in my home, let alone ingest them. In lieu of prescriptions, I store a typical arsenal of over the counter painkillers such as Ibuprofen along with a host of herbal remedies including Green Mountain CBD.
This morning I reached for the CBD before sauntering into the kitchen to brew a predawn pot of coffee, marveling over the fact that the caffeine was likely to give me an intense buzz whereas the capsule containing cannabis oil would have no effect on my mind whatsoever. I sank down in my seat at the kitchen table automatically reaching for a coaster to guard the maple surface against coffee rings noting that my handyman and I had both left our keys in the kitchen rather than in their customary hiding spots. I smiled at the contrast between our key rings, thinking how in a small way they represent our personalities, his Lowes membership on display next to the pretty Herbal Path tag that matches my breast cancer awareness pink pepper spray so well, in color if not in topic. My gaze turned to the fridge landing on an unused coupon, bright amidst a myriad of magnets and photos, that promises a $5 discount at The Herbal Path. I considered whether or not the weather and my energy level would allow for a drive to the seacoast for fresh supplements later in the day.
I currently live over an hour’s car ride away from Portsmouth, the charming seaside city I at one time called home, long before the rent there tripled in price and ritzy condos became a part of the landscape. I still travel to the seacoast on a regular basis despite the distance and potential toll on my tired old Hyundai. The Herbal Path is a favorite on my list of destinations, not only because of their product selection, but also because of the shop’s atmosphere, values, and knowledgeable employees. I invariably leave the shop feeling better than I did before I entered regardless of whether I have made a purchase for myself or my handyman. The delicious scent that greets customers upon entrance to the store is, in itself, sufficient to propel me into a state of bliss. The Herbal Path also offers a little something for the Slacktivist in me… The Token Donation Program.
I consider shopping at The Herbal Path a perfect Slacktivist activity even if I just stop to buy a honey stick for the road. “Why?” you may ask. The simple answer is that the donation program suits my habits perfectly. I prefer to pay in cash for most of my purchases… Trying to keep track of a checking account balance is no fun and credit cards are not my friends. I prefer to leave a store with my locally sourced purchases in a reusable bag or no bag at all rather than to take a disposable bag that I will inevitably toss in the trash the second I arrive home. The Herbal Path rewards both of these behaviors by making a charitable donation on behalf of the customer. So… I shop for something I need anyway, in the same manner in which I shop for everything anyway, and as a result a little extra money goes to one of a number of great causes. What a beautiful arrangement.
Speaking of beauty… The predawn darkness has dwindled to daylight. The songbirds awoke first, their calls not yet muffled by the rumble of car engines. My handyman awoke next much to the delight of Stella the calico cat, who found me to be a dull companion in comparison. My son awoke last, bounding down the stairs with much less care than I took earlier in my quest for solitude and CBD. T’is time to immerse myself in a day that may involve some rain clouds and droopy eyelids but will also bring love, smiles, and perhaps a trip to The Herbal Path… My hip feels much better and my soul feels ready for some good old fashioned Slacktivism.