There is nothing like adversity to indicate the mettle of a person. When everything is harmonious and hunky-dory, the birds singing and soaring through the thermals, the gentle azure waves rhythmically hissing against the sand under the palm tree, we need to enjoy and appreciate the wondrous gift of life. Do not get complacent! Don’t fool yourself into believing you’re immortal and that there is only pleasure in life… for the pendulum is itching to slow down, reach apogee, and then swing into the equal-and-opposite! It is simply not possible to reverse the currents of destiny until they have been played out. Only then can there be change…
Well, last week I was getting on with my life, minding my own business, when God stepped into the space, pointed at me, and commanded: “Crucify that one!” Angels and the forces of destiny scrambled to obey, and got creative. They noticed that one of my medicine names is Stonebear… and so they placed some beautiful, snowflake calcium crystals into my left kidney… and kicked them loose. At least they have a sense of humor! In disbelief I collapsed in the greatest pain I have endured in this life, and observed as the pendulum swung towards perigee… and stopped there.
The pain was so severe that, despite receiving intra-venous shots of morphine, all I could do was vomit and moan. And, after 4 days of this delightful crucifixion, they threw me a lifeline. They told me they could ‘go in’ and break up the stones, which seemed reluctant to move down the proper channels at a sensible speed. Clutching at straws, I agreed with relief and they wheeled me into the operating room and proceeded to place me on my back, feet in stirrups, and then put the lower part of me (below the waist) to sleep. That was weird and frightening. They told me that is how it feels to be paralyzed. Ugh! Then they pushed something large down my small tubes and did their job. It was fine for me… until the anesthetic wore off. The procedure was not subtle or delicate. It damaged me considerably. Yet the extreme agony was over, thank goodness, and now I am healing, slowly.
So what was that all about? I ask myself that question, often. It came out of nowhere, without warning, like an earthquake. A car wreck. A lightning strike. All I could do was to collapse. It was simply too much to handle. I give thanks I wasn’t on holiday in the Himalayas, or living in a post-apocalyptic world where there weren’t hospitals.
And then, the answer flew to my questing, receptive mind. It is simply life. Life is not reasonable or fair. It simply is. I recognize that, despite its low spots, my life is a miracle. And I found a strength inside myself that I didn’t know was there, although I suspected it. I realized that, whatever happens, I will accept life as it is given to me and will deal with it as best I can with whatever resources I have available at the time. If it is time to complete my life, I will choose the time, place and method, and take the steps.
So now, in my innocence and trust, I recuperate and recover. Then, when the time feels right, I will don my traveling clothes with feather in cap, sling my bag over my shoulder, and stride out again into the Unknown. Maybe we will meet there. Until then, live well and prosper!