December 11, 2004

Growing Tender

In the middle of the night I was awakened by the strong winds in the forest, and the occasional crack, swoosh, and thud of falling limbs. As I quietly listened, I reflected upon the changing of the season, the changes in our lives, and the turmoil that changes sometimes bring. Sometimes changes are smooth, other times tumultuous. It seems our attention is drawn to the dramatic changes with an overt awareness, but our attention maybe much less attuned to subtle changes.

Our humanity, growing all the time, does not let us rest on any change for long - there is always another one around the corner, sometimes upon us before we even know what happened. These changes affect our very core, rubbing up against old parts of ourselves like a polishing cloth reaching into the dark crevices. We wince with the discomfiture change stimulates, and the inevitable uprooting of old wounds. Without this occasional tending, debris builds up, buries and hides our wounds, and we are weighed down.

How good and wholesome it is to periodically return to these dark places, move them and look at them, handle them gently and restore their proper place in us. An honest inventory here softens us, makes us tender, and brings the luminosity and luster back to the places that have grown dim in the shadows.


Larry said...

Years ago, visiting the Olympic Nat'l Park, I was highly impressed by the amount of stuff on the ground--all the dead stuff was covered by something green.

"Be then no more by a storm distressed
For by it the full ground seed is laid,
and though the oak by its might it shatters,
What then, if thousands of seeds it scatters."

(That Cause Can Neither Be Lost nor Stayed)

Al said...

"periodically return to these dark places, move them and look at them, handle them gently and restore their proper place in us"
I am slowly opening to the fact that this is the work.
And the "period" of time just may be daily...Al

Jon said...


Your post (and Larry's comment) reminded me about Hurricane Isabel last year, and something my teacher said: "So thousands of trees were blown down. But who knows how many millions of seeds have been planted because of it."

It's good to remember that even our difficulties challenge us to move on. It's ALL good!