Friday, September 30, 2016

Poetry Friday: Healing

Today it's two weeks since I had surgery, and I am mostly back to normal.  Not everything was normal when I had the surgery (which is why I had the surgery), so normal is an improvement over the last couple of months.

It always amazes me to watch my body heal.  I remember the only other surgery I ever had, almost twenty years ago now.  At a post-op doctor visit, I complimented the surgeon on the great job he'd done on the incision.  He shrugged and said, "It's not me; you're just a good healer." Now that scar is almost invisible; you really have to know what you're looking for.

Am I a good healer?  Physically, yes, it seems so.  I bounce back pretty fast.  (And I'm so grateful for my normally great health.)  But emotionally, I think I'm kind of a slow healer.  Here's an example: I lost a friend a few years ago, over something that wasn't my fault, and I grieved hard for her, for her family, for our friendship, for about five years.  But now that scar is almost invisible, too.

The other day, I was walking to my classroom, and I saw a crack in the cement beside one of the school buildings.  There was grass growing out of the crack.  These words came to my mind: "I am the grass; let me work."

I can't make healing happen, physically or emotionally, any more than I can make grass grow.  But healing wants to happen, just like grass wants to push through the crack in the concrete, just like life wants to go on.  If I rest and eat right and take my vitamins and let healing come, that mysterious force takes over: healing.  Until the scar is almost invisible.


Carl Sandburg

Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo,
Shovel them under and let me work--
I am the grass; I cover all.

And pile them high at Gettysburg
And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun.
Shovel them under and let me work.
Two years, ten years, and passengers ask the conductor:
What place is this?
Where are we now?

I am the grass.
Let me work.

 I posted this poem before back in 2008. (I read it a little differently back then.)

Here's today's roundup.


Molly Hogan said...

I'm so glad to hear you're bouncing back from surgery and healing well. I wasn't familiar with this Sandburg poem and find there's much to contemplate within it. Thanks for sharing!

Violet Nesdoly said...

Loved this post, Ruth. You touch on so many things -- inner healing, and scars, and the push of nature and time to bring healing. Glad you're feeling better. Keep healing!

Mary Lee said...

What a thought-full post. Heal well, and heal quickly!

I have a small surgery scheduled for next Thursday--I'm hoping for as quick a recovery as yours!

Linda B said...

I'm happy that you're better, Ruth. The weekend will be welcome, right? The poem speaks of many things, but what I will take from it is patience, allowing time to help us heal in whatever ways we need. Best wishes to you in your "fast" healing this time.

Anonymous said...

I agree that this was a wise and contemplative post. I'm glad you're healing, Ruth, physically and emotionally. I pray that it continues. That poem about grass... evokes much.

Brenda Harsham said...

I'm glad you are feeling better and healing fast. I think it's easier to heal physically than to mourn a lost friendship. I forget about the scars on my body much faster than the pains from friendships.

Tabatha said...

Always nice to hear your insights, Ruth. Glad that you are healing well (and that your students had enough structure and momentum to get through the week with you not at full power)!

Carol Varsalona said...

Ruth, for me healing has been an amazing interaction of faith and medicine. I hope your healing continues to improve and that you will be back with your students soon. Thank you for the Sandburg poem that I have never read. Be patient for healing takes time.I want you to know that I placed the photo you took of San Souci Palace in Haiti in my summer gallery soon to be unveiled at my blog site. Stay tuned.