My hips slide out of place for the second week in a row. “It’s been very mild both these times,” says my chiropractor after I explain that I’ve been doing the physical therapy exercises each day. “You’re doing what you need to do. Just give it time.” She is encouraging. Perky, even.
I slip the hope into my back pocket, the same one where I’ve been holding my despair.
My friend Gretchen writes, “Go into nature and look for something that represents the pain, discomfort, and sadness that you are feeling and take the time to notice what stirs in you when you find it.”
I am the shriveled blossom in my neighbor’s hedge, a dry echo of the woman I’ve known myself to be.
I am the abandoned cornhusk at the foot of a mildewed fence. It’s been a while since I fancied myself bright or beautiful.
I am snow melting into asphalt. I can’t imagine that I’m doing much good here, but there’s nowhere else to go.
I am the deserted beach, stark and serene.
I am the tree reaching out for light even when the sky clouds over.
I am the sparrow: a simple, social creature. Even when I’m hurting I’m wise enough to seek out friends.
I am willing to play in the dirt.
There are some stories you don’t want to tell until you’ve lived the happy ending. I keep starting a blog entry on the Lesson Of My Hips, but it refuses to wrap itself up neatly.
Two days ago I opened my book of Rumi:There are values in pain that are difficult to see without the presence of a guest. Don’t complain about autumn. Walk with grief like a good friend. Listen to what he says. Sometimes the cold and dark of a cave give the opening we most want.
I sit with the words again and again. I’ve wanted answers to lean against, but that’s not what I’ve been given.
The definition of darkness is that we cannot see what’s going on. The definition of winter is that the branches stay bare for a good long while.
In the meantime things grow inside. I am not the paper whites ready to blossom. I am not the potted palm fountaining. But I receive them with the gratitude of a beggar. When we muster the courage to accept our emptiness, we find most anything can fill us.
So I do. And it does.