Thursday, October 15, 2015

Window Boxes




About ten days ago, we built three of these window boxes. By we, I mean a really, really old friend and I. And by we built, I mean, he built them and I styled them. I went to the nursery, all on my own, picked out the plants, and directed the, nice and helpful, nursery man to load them into the trunk. Oh, and I did measure some boards even though numbers aren’t really my thing. But, my friend, he did most of the work. As my friend worked and I delivered coffee and water, he made sure to remind me he was diligent in honoring my request - show the knots and cracks and most weathered and uneven parts of the boards.

After a day of carpentry and planting and drink bringing and lunch making, we finally finished. I wheeled all the way out to the sidewalk and looked at these beautiful window boxes and started to cry. I didn’t cry because I was so tired from measuring and math, nor did I continue to cry because I am such a sap and things like window boxes make me sob. No, I cried because these once discarded and weathered pallet boards were, now, stunning window boxes that would make Joanna Gaines proud. 

These tears recalled so many hard years when I wasn’t sure who I was or what I was doing. So many hard years when I struggled to believe I was still the same person in this broken body. So many years when I thought the only way to power through this new challenge was to assume I was a bad person before and needed a jolt in order to become a new and good person. But, this way of thinking, this idea that we were once bad and need to see a tragedy as a gift is just wrong. Just so wrong.

Bad things happen to good people all of the time. And I am not saying I was the pillar of a good person. But, I was a real person. A twenty-one year old person with all kinds of knots and flaws and cracks. I don’t need to twist and turn my accident into some magical change of life; it just happened. Accidents and losses and tragedies are just part of the human experience. The good thing, though, is - this human experience - celebrates all of these crashes and burns. The human experience teaches us we are most beautiful when we are pieced back together and aren’t afraid to show off our knots and cracks and bruises and scars. 

We are all weathered. We are all pieced back together again. We are all beautiful. And if you water us, we will grow. Just like these plants in these window boxes - we will grow out of the garbaged and the forgotten, weathered wood. We will grow. 

9 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. I think you have so much wisdom and spirit to share. I am writing from my son's hospital bed where he just had spinal fusion surgery. You have a true light and I know you will continue to let it shine and inspire others. Tonight I was inspired by the volunteer giving hospital parents complimentary chair massages, the volunteers who put on the dog show at Gillette, and...YOU.

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    1. You inspire me. This comment reduced me to tears and I am just so very grateful for you. So much love and positive light and energy sent to your son. Thank you for this. xoxo

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  3. Your post really slammed me. Several years ago I lost my then 11 year old son to Luekemia, and like you, for many years I thought it was because I needed to be punished. For what, I didn't know, but that didn't matter. Nothing else made sense to me. I finally realized, like you, that it just happened, and there was no way to make sense of it. Thank you for reminding me. You are truly a beautiful and strong person.

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    1. Your comment really hit me, too. The loss of a child is one of the hardest losses to understand and is precisely the reason why I do not believe things happen for a reason. At all. It is a profound loss and shouldn't be reduced to a simplistic black and white, cherry on top explanation. One of my very favorite authors, Wayne Dyer, writes...You can being to think of yourself as truly intelligent on the basis of how you choose to feel in the face of trying circumstances. The life struggles are pretty much the same for each of us. Everyone who is involved with other human beings in any social context has similar difficulties. Disagreements, conflicts and compromises are a part of what it means to be human. Similarly, money, growing old, sickness, deaths, natural disasters and accidents are all events which present problems to virtually all human beings. But some people are able to make it, to avoid immobilizing dejection and unhappiness despite such occurrences, while others collapse, become inert or have a nervous breakdown. Those who recognize problems as a human condition and don't measure happiness by an absence of problems are the most intelligent kind of humans we know; also, the most rare. -Your Erroneous Zones
      This passage often helps me to remember I am not alone in this type of thinking...that things just happen. I do believe it is quite a process to finally come to this realization though. It doesn't come easily because we want causes and reasons so we can prevent further disaster. I have had a few nervous breakdowns on my way to understanding this concept, but grasping it fully finally gave me the freedom to just live and not feel punished. Thank you so very much for the comment. You are also a beautiful and strong person and helped me so much too. xo

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  4. I always take away some wisdom from your blog posts, even though I am much older than you. You made me think again today.

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    1. Thank you for your wisdom and reminder that we are always learning and thinking in new ways. Thank you.

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  5. I have read your blog faithfully for a long time. I am usually moved to comment, but I don't. I always learn from your wisdom and life experiences. Thank you for reminding me that there is beauty in everything.

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    1. Thank you so much for this. Just, thank you.

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Thank you for commenting. I appreciate all of your words.