Monday, July 23, 2012

Lost Miracles


It has been on my mind lately. Failure dogs all of us. But recently, after giving up on something in a fit of desolation, I took a breather and found I had to pick it up again.


Lost opportunity haunts me. I think about it. I’ve tried to live my life by the well-worn mantra “everything happens for a reason.” We don’t always know the reason, and I suppose accepting that we may never know it is one definition of faith. It may be hard, but pressing on without needing to see the entire puzzle in completion is my way of trusting the universe.

I often wonder how many miracles—the cure for cancer, the vaccine for HIV, the solution to world hunger—almost happened. We’ll never know how many amazing gifts remain unopened by eternity because the instrument gave up… perhaps JUST before the solution fell into place.

The seeds of every solution to every problem are in the world. We are the gardeners. Tending the garden is hard, but anyone who grows things knows how delicate and ever-changing they are. Tiny shoots can disappear overnight, choked by weeds or destroyed by pests. When I harvest my raspberries I never pluck them; if they are ripe and ready they are incredibly soft and easily crushed. I place the bucket under the vine, and brush my fingers over the berries, let them fall. If I spy a few in a tough spot, I simply brave the thorns. Leaves, shadows, a million things will hide some of them. There will always be a few unharvested.

But I get most of them. Keeping a watchful eye is part of that small victory. Determination is more of it.  We never really know how long the harvest will last, or how long we’ll have to wait to start again. Every ripe opportunity is worth the thorns… once the season ends we have a long wait til the next.

Loss is one thing; waste another. I can accept the inevitability of loss, but I’d rather bear the prick of thorns than wonder what was wasted.

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