when i fell down, i fell not just on the earth of green hope farm. i fell into lots of caring hands. the hands of so many people lifted me up from the ground these past six weeks. people with casseroles, people with heartfelt cards and letters, people with chocolate, people with comforting books, people with jokes, people with tenderness, people with mending, healing hands supporting my hands.
the day i broke my arm, the doctor reading the x-rays in the emergency room asked me if i knew i had broken my arm before and had not had it set properly. i looked at the x-ray and at the shadowy image of that misshapen arm bone that mended itself as best it could, and i sent love and prayers back to little Molly who navigated such an ordeal all alone. sadly, i knew this the arm was one of many bones i mended in this broken, alone way.
one of the many gifts of this experience has been receiving so much more love and appropriate care than happened in my childhood. i know i keep going on and on about this, as much as it could be said to go on and on when only writing an entry a week, but this outpouring of love will always remain a profound healing experience for me.
as a child, i had no frame of reference to know i deserved better than to mend a broken arm, broken rib, broken foot, broken heart by myself. this led to a good many adult years trying to live by what i imagined to be a necessary creed of independence. coming into this experience, i was bone weary. my mistaken ideas that we can and must do most things alone had been worn down to a nubbin, but still, i often resisted asking for necessary help out of my old wounded ideas about the need to “do it all by myself” i don’t think i could have survived my childhood any other way, but i am most grateful to have been given a chance to let go of this sad and lonely way of being once and for all. getting to let go of this creed is an enormous part of the grace of this experience.
i have heard that habits can begin to change in as little as four days though this sounds rather simplistic to me who has held on to so many counter productive habits for more than fifty years. i have been fortunate enough to have my patterns of living interrupted for a much more extended period of time than four days. as a consequence, i am deeply hopeful that some of my habits of a lifetime have been broken down. and if not yet, maybe soon, since it is going to be awhile before i am living with two working hands again.
by necessity, my habits of self reliance have been abandoned. i have come to accept that if i want ice for my arm, i need to ask for it and the sweet souls taking care of me will get ice for me cheerfully. i have discovered that the universe won’t collapse if they take care of me instead of me always taking care of them. it is all quite a relief to discover that i am not just alive because of my chambermaid skills.
i have started to work with a hand therapist to begin to get my hand moving again. my wrist is presently unable to bend, but i have about eighty exercises to do each day to begin this part of my healing journey. it is so interesting to talk to a person called to serve the magic of hands. it is so eye opening to understand everything that my hands did without me thinking about them and to share this with a hand therapist that understands my new passionate love of my hands.
as i go forward towards hands restored and more deeply loved, i will continue to relish the skills my hands so freely gave before this break to shovel, to type FAST, to knead bread, to hug, to knit and in every way to give, but now i will also be more wide awake to their gifts to receive, to be held gently, to cradle love freely given. wrists are said to be all about the flow of energy into and out of the body. how lovely to be given this opportunity to let more love be received in my wide open hands.