Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Life

March 17, 2013

SHADES OF GREEN: Dealing with ailment opens writer’s eyes to miracles

A month ago I caught Bell’s Palsy. It’s an ailment that makes a side of your face go paralyzed. So for me I couldn’t close my eye so I had to tape it shut at night. My mouth couldn’t cup my morning caffeine, so I had to drink coffee through a straw!

What I think is amazing about this experience is that Bell’s Palsy is still considered a phenomenon! I am part of an unknown mystery of life!! Doctors have hypothesizes but they still aren’t sure what it is — they only know what it isn’t!

On this amazing earth of ours we can look at things as either a curse or a blessing. I’m taking this “ailment” as a blessing. I’ve been trying to see things through the eyes of Rachel Carson, author of “Silent Spring,” who said “For most of us, knowledge of our world comes largely through sight, yet we look about with such unseeing eyes that we are partially blind. One way to open your eyes to unnoticed beauty is to ask yourself, ‘What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again?’”

So this made me ask, “What if I couldn’t use my lip any more? What if my eye didn’t close on its own? What if this paralysis would stay with me for the rest of my life? Would I still be thankful?”

After this experience I loudly now say, “Yes!” This “ailment” has made me ask lots of questions about life and it’s miracles.

The simple overlooked things like blinking.

I’ve been taking yoga since this came upon me, which has made me focus on breathing and listening.

One day my instructor said that all things that go in you become you, which includes food, of course. I asked myself, “Do I want to become a Cheeto? Or do I want to become an organic carrot?”

But it also includes the things we see, hear, feel — things we ingest, literally and figuratively, become us.

What are some simple things that I’ve been observing?

The miracle of blooming crocus!

The gift of photosynthesis and chlorophyll!

The deliciousness of kale!

The marvel of making maple syrup from the sap that flows through a tree!

The wonder of how juncos happily spend their winter here — without complaint!

How black squirrels always seem like they are dancing and sparking my dog.

Unpretentious signs of respect like a smile from my neighbors and the opportunity to provide them happiness.

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