Thursday, March 1, 2012
This pitcher was a gift from one of my sisters decades ago. She bought it for me at the Smithsonian on a trip to D.C. I have loved it from day one, both the pitcher and her thinking of me, knowing the exact right thing for me, so much so that when one of my girls was fooling around one day and knocked it down breaking the handle, I glued the pieces together, glued it back on (unusual behavior for me, as something so broken could not be saved), placed it back on the shelf, and have continued to love it.
I think of how each of us from our little family, parents included, have been broken. I think of this sister, the one that I've wished my whole adult life to have a closer relationship with, and her unexpected call the other day. Hearing her voice, her laughter, bringing back such family memories. Thinking of her own unexpected, unique and serious life challenges over the past few years opens a space in my heart that distance, differences, and misunderstanding oftentimes closed.
Aren't we all broken in some way? Even those of us for whom it is not so apparent on the surface? I love the metaphor of this vase... how life breaks us, no bad intent, just part of this earth walk, and we glue ourselves back together and march on. The scars becoming part of the fabric of our beings; a place of more vulnerability and tenderness for sure, but part of the beauty that makes up the whole. Part of the mystery that doesn't just mark our journey, but creates it, most often unknowingly, and only in hindsight, like gazing from the mountain top we didn't know we were climbing to the sudden vista, looking out at all that we had traversed; the switchbacks, the steep hills and deep valleys, peaceful meadows, the detours and long stretches of isolation and wilderness, darkness and light, the streams forged and rivers rafted, looking back on it all and seeing that truly, we could not have arrived any other way.
And p.s., a few hours after posting this I opened a new book I received in the mail today and found this quote:
Life breaks everyone... but some grow stronger at the broken part. ~Ernest Hemingway
I love life's synchronicities.