WALK - DAY 2
If we tend to things at their deepest level, our repair will be so much a part of who we are that there will be no scar. - Mark Nepo.
The cold, strong wind made conversation difficult so we mostly walked in silence today. Above the wind we could hear the groaning of the shallow river as the ice stretched and claimed more purchase of the flowing waters.
I could hear my companion's breathing singing a dissonant chord with the river. Just as the river groaned at the discomfort of water turning to ice, so did her body protest in puffs at the lungs' request for more oxygen. I imagined the dark blue carbon dioxide laden cells waiting impatiently in a cue to receive more oxygen as she breathes in. When the oxygen arrives, they drop the carbon dioxide, grab the oxygen, and head out the door to find their way to the heart to learn where they will be sent.
The body is an amazing machine. I am always so awed when I remember that even though we all are very different in size and appearance, our insides all look and work pretty much the same. Breath in, breath out. Heart beats, beats, beats, beats, beats, beats. Repeat. When parts of the body don't work as they're intended to, we have solutions for that. Broken bones get set, hormones can be administered to alter or support organ function, surgery can remove organs that we don't have use for or that are causing problems for us. The functions and cures of the physical body can be planned and mapped in very similar ways for everyone.
Then there is the non-physical part of us - emotional, spiritual, mental - all the aspects of us that are as prone to disease and breakage as the physical body, but lacking the clearly prescribed treatments for physical healing and physical wholeness. These obscure and less easily mapped parts of us come already assembled inside our amazing physical self when we arrive on the planet as infants. We have instincts as well as nurturers to help us grow into beings who can take care of our own physical and non-physical selves. But oh my! The experiences we have and messages we get before (if ever) we learn to be our own care-takers and nurturers . . . . . . fill in your own story here.
I have spent great amounts of time working on healing and growing past some of my early experiences. In my honest assessment of my life, I also acknowledge that my children, now adults, spend time working to heal and grow past some of their experiences handed to them by me in their early years. There will always be scars of one sort or another on my body, in my mind; on their bodies, in their minds. My goal for me, whether scars can be seen or not by others, is to see the scars as a part of the beautiful landscape that is my body, my soul. The scars, regardless of how faint or pronounced, are part of my landscape. Under them all is that wholeness I arrived on the planet with all those years ago.
My friend's breathing and the river's groaning was not the only labor I was aware of this morning on our walk. I noticed that trees with limbs broken in this year's storms worked to keep their movements in check so they'd incur no more loss; the ground had frozen scars to protect any remaining plant life where wheels and feet peeled away turf; large and small stones, like well trained sentinels, stood their ground to hold the whole landscape down so it would not blow away; and me, I consciously worked to transform thoughts in my mind to feelings in my body. Every one of us called out our greetings. "Hang in there," we all said. "Don't let the cold overcome you. Hold each other however you are able to hold and be held."
All the while, I thought the annoying wind was trying to drown out our collective voices when really, groaning like the rest of us, she was trying to get our attention. "Notice me," she blasted. "I am a part of all of you. I want to be held, too." Then she ran ahead of us, waiting to demand tribute at our next turn.