Two years ago Rachel left school in Vancouver and returned home to Bainbridge Island (outside Seattle) to reset her life. One night, biking home from work she was hit by a careless driver just blocks from her family farm. She was bed ridden. With her new friends out of state, and old friends moved on she was depressed and alone.
"They held the ferry and everything to get to the ER on the mainland. I spent the night at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle listening to three people die on the other side of the curtain- a young kid in a car accident, and old addict, and a dude in a bar fight. It was terrifying and humbling. I wasn't treated for the whole night because I wasn't dying. Somehow I was grateful for that. But I didn't know if I had nerve damage and would walk again, so I was scared as fuck. My mobility is priceless. Luckily I'm just shorter than I used to be. I'm 23 and have the back of an 80 year old. I was stuck in a brace for three months. Depressed and on painkillers. I quit that shit fast. That's when I got my runty, weepy eyed cat named Bonzo from a sketchy woman off highway 99. You can also buy drugs or company by the hour. I was told I shouldn't keep him because he might not live very long. But we're both fine. He's honestly the only way I got through it."
As we walk away from the field she gives me a smirk and tells me that the earth below us is where her and her family buried their dead animals. "This hallowed ground we are standing on was dug when my first puppy, a chocolate lab named Josie, was hit by a car. There's two llamas, a blind alpaca, three cats a lizard and some fish."
It's been two years of healing. Rachel is very grateful for her current state of health. She's on route to becoming a naturopathic doctor at Bastyr University, and tomorrow is off to climb Mount Rainier. Jah Bless.