I took a quick walk around the farm and walked by the field where we grew potatoes last year. To dig potatoes, we use an undermining implement to dig a trench and bring the potatoes up so we can harvest them with a little less effort. The wet Fall found us digging some of the rows quite late, so we couldn't really do anything else with the field. So, as I walked by, I could still see the trenches that were created during the harvesting process. The earth was still scarred from the process of harvesting what turned out to be a reasonable, if not bounteous, harvest.
I found myself remembering the efforts that went into planting, cultivating, mulching and harvesting this crop. And, as we ate a couple of baked potatoes from this field tonight, I found my gratitude for the earth's gift growing. It made me want to work even harder to "do right" by the soil that provided and it got me to think a little bit differently about being scarred.
Many years ago, I made the mistake of trying to catch a pile of falling drywall and injured my wrist. To make a long story short, I had a major surgery a year later that required pins to hold the wrist in place. After several weeks of recovery, the day came to have the pins removed. Being a person who isn't terribly fond of blood or open wounds, I figured I'd handle it by looking away. Instead, I ended up watching as the doctor took what was a normal pliers you might find in your own tool box and used it to pull out each pin. Today, I can look at my wrist and see the puckered area that covers the spot where those pins penetrated my skin.
My skin is scarred and it brings back the memories of the injury, the failed attempts to rehabilitate, the surgery and the eventual recovery to nearly full mobility. But, more than that, the scar represents key learning that makes me who I am today. This scar is a reminder of things that are precious. This scar reminds me that there are people who will do wonderful things to help you to heal and be better than you are right now. This scar reminds me that a trial can lead to growth.
And all of that reminds me to have hope.
|Not my X-ray - it's just here to make the point.|
But, I also find that I grow frustrated with the speed that the online world heals over. It seems to ignore or move past anything each of us might do or say after a very short period of time. As I contemplated this thought, I realized that this is not simply an online phenomenon, it's the way humans have worked for as long as they have been on this earth. We have memories, but they are selective and limited. We have recollections, but they are known to be faulty. We have images of the past, but we don't always connect them to useful learning or appropriate change. More often than not, they fail to leave a scar. We have perfect skin in our remembrance, but that doesn't build the character that makes us better versions of ourselves.
I want some of the things that have been written here (or elsewhere) or spoken by me to become a scar that reminds you of something important, or something that helps you to move forward to something better, or reminds you to do your best and not give up. In fact, it does not matter if I was the source of that scar - as long as it comes from somewhere.
May you find some music, a piece of prose or poetry, a sunrise or a flower, a kind word from someone you love ... something...
Something that scars you. And makes you better than you were.