“Very little grows on jagged rock. Be ground. Be crumbled,
so wild flowers will come up where you are.” Rumi
Last month I had foot surgery. Though a relatively minor operation, it temporarily stopped me in my tracks as my foot was encased in a protective cast and, on doctor’s orders, required elevation most hours of each day. Unable to bear weight or drive for six to eight weeks, mobility has been a problem. Initially, I was confined to my home—with the exception of a few caring and daring friends who helped me hobble off to a breakfast or lunch date!
Medical necessity has forced me to halt and be still. Raking leaves and preparing our home for winter with my husband are annual fall activities I enjoy but haven’t been able to do this year. And in the time since the surgery, I’ve missed my independence. Post-surgery, I’ve had to rely on others and it’s been in this that my jagged edges have shown. I’ve needed patience with my husband (and myself) as he’s helped me with simple tasks. My normally busy mind and busy body have been ordered to become less busy, to slow down so that my internal energy can be used for healing.
Not long after the surgery I learned of the passing of two men. One was a 92-year-old decorated World War II veteran; the other a former school valedictorian and star athlete who was only 34 when he lost his life to ALS. It can be hard to make sense of the timing that marks the end of this life, yet both men lived rich and full lives in what time they had here on earth. I remember and honor them as I think about all they accomplished in life and all the younger man might still have done had he not been stricken by ALS. I also feel gratitude that I am simply here, now – in a cast or not.
Having dealt in the past with cancer and family deaths and challenges far greater than foot surgery, as I rest and heal now in my easy chair I know there’s an upside to these forced recovery periods. I have the time and space to question… Where do I want to focus now and when I am fully healed? What flowers do I want to cultivate over my jagged edges?
Whenever we are stopped in our tracks, we’re given the time and opportunity to reflect on where we’ve been, where we are, and where we want to go in this life. We’re given an opportunity to experience gratitude for what we already have.
When have you been given a time to pause and reflect? What has emerged from the pause? Did you have jagged edges and how were flowers able to push through?