Saturday, April 14, 2007

Life's Scars

“Thank you, Muse.”

I just had a recollection of a conversation that I had with my son’s mother subsequent to my presenting her with a gift. If memory serves well, it was a Mothers’ Day gift. Our son was quite small… was involved in all manner of tests, therapies, and training… all related to his cerebral palsy. One of his accoutrements was an elaborate system of metal and leather leg and foot braces that went from his shoes to a thickly padded ‘belt’ around his waist.

His mother was voicing her concern that the metal of the braces was doing damage to the beautiful finish of a lovely rocking chair that I had given her for Mothers’ Day. “One day, you will look at those gouges and scratches in the wood… and recall fondly the moments when we held and rocked him in that chair. Those will be treasured reminders of the circumstances and the feelings that are now so fresh and real to us. Let him record all that he can in that chair’s finish… for our later enjoyment.” I responded.

And isn’t it so with all of life’s wounds, scars, and bruises? Do we not have, at our option, the ability to recall the pains endured in their acquisition with some measured sense of accomplishment… or at least a dollop of gratitude for our survival through it all. So, My Dear Reader, I offer this little encouragement for you. Please do not turn your back on those circumstances in which you find yourself laboring. Choose, instead, the option of embracing all of what is this moment’s engagement, with a spirit of eminent victory over passing impediments. And an awareness that, in some future time and venue, you will have, at your command, some “souvenirs” of these challenges to revisit and allow to remind you of your victories and accomplishments along the way.

So, today, and in all of your days, I encourage you, My Dear Friend, to embrace all of Life’s offerings to you. Fully know and appreciate… live and savor… sense and indulge in every element of your life experience without fear of or concern for the possibility of “scars” that may result from your allowance of complete involvement. For to live a life governed by a focus on “scar avoidance”, is to risk living as an unblemished cadaver… absent any experiential “wounds”… but totally Lifeless. Your “rocking chair” may be show-room pristine… but the cost would be the loss of a treasury of memories and blessings. And what a waste that would be! I urge you to accept, embrace, celebrate, and enjoy all that Life gives you (even the bumps and bruises.)

And… yes, these many years since… my son’s mother did, indeed, remind me of that moment… as we looked, with a complex and rich blend of feelings, at those scars on that, well-worn, chair.

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