Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sunshine and Shadows



In a week filled with visiting family, my own children coming home to roost for a bit, my cats, my chickens, and all of the last of the summer fun, I am filled with gratitude for good people, and good times.

In a week filled with added challenges, and the sacrifices of others, I am filled with gratitude for the help of others, and their positive and encouraging energies. I am grateful that it is, as it is for it might have been, and was not worse.

It was lovely to have one of my four brothers and his wife, my dear sister-in-law who keeps me hopping with her energy and amazing creativity, come to stay for five days. Wonderful to have my children come home to greet them and join in hiking, and barbeques, and other good times. For even with the energies needed and expended, even with the challenges of weather or time, or finances...it is still all good in the end.

I am grateful I still found time to sew in a virtual quilting bee, to pass on my love of quilting to my youngest daughter and to encourage my oldest daughter through challenges, and to enjoy my son, my sweet daughter-in-law and of course my Alaskan brother and sister-in-law.

The very first day of my brother and his wife's arrival, we cut down trees and made two twig chairs, we made pulp and created paper, and we mixed up concrete and sand, and made leaf molds out of all of the leaves we could find in my yard, my garden, and the gardens of friends.

We cut, we drilled, we nailed, we mixed, we patted, we molded, we flattened and impressed... and oh, it was great fun. Some of the crafts I had tried before, others were brand new and wonderful to learn. I remember thinking...if we did all of this the first day..what will we do the other four? HA! I think we did all of that... and much more!

But with sunshine and fun, also comes all of the shadows. Some shadows are refreshing and cooling, others are worrisome or hurting. But again, I am grateful.

My oldest daughter had a freak accident with a Japanese serrated sickle and severed a tendon in her hand, clean through it...100% severed. It makes me cringe to even type those words. Not her wrist leading to her hand, thank goodness.....a tendon in her hand, leading to her index finger.

But oh, after my broken wrist I have learned how everything is so intricately connected and how challenging it can be to regain proper use once again. When you move or can't move one thing...suddenly everything that is connected no longer can work. It is the paradigm for our entire lives...if we can't or don't work together...we end up not working at all.

It took until 6th day to get doctors and insurance to work together to get her into surgery. The surgeon stitched, he cast, and she did all she could to help him and his skill. She works three hard, physical jobs and all involve the full time use of her hands. Now, in the busiest of her work seasons, she like so many of us, is out of work, and trying to make do...just as we are, the very best we can.

I am reminded once again, that is not about how we live, or how much we make, or even how much we each have. We have enough, we are happy, and we love and are loved, and that is all that really matters. But when physical, or emotional, or financial challenges face us, life is a bit more challenging, and the shadows do press a bit more deeply into our psyche.

We all must simply pull in the positive energies of belief and manifestation...of faith and hope and charity and love. It's that simple..and that complicated.

Sunshine and shadows may be the name of a quilted pattern but it is also the pattern of all of our lives. And what may seem dark is always paired with all that is also filled with light.

shown above:
The gourds we grew in our garden, the heart I made with my hands and the places we created for quiet contemplation. Kermit on the fence, Willow in the shade, Sophie, Penelope, and Matilda peering in. And me, of course...watching, learning, and grateful for them all.

note:
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11 comments:

  1. What a week! I'm so sorry about your daughter and praying for a complete and quick recovery for her. Oh, the things we take for granted...

    I love the photo collage, especially Kermit, the beautiful tabby, and the hens at the door!

    I'm glad that despite the shadows, there were a lot of good things to help balance your emotions!

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  2. What a week. My hubby cut the tendons in his hand (3 fingers) a number of years ago. It wasn't a pretty site. Looks like you've had a busy week. I always enjoy visiting you, finding out what you've been up to. I've been soaking myself in the quilting process for the past week. It soothes my soul. On Tues. last week hubby broke his ankle. It's been one of those weeks where I've needed quilting!! Hugs and love

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  3. What a week. It is good to be reminded that we need to sit back once in a while and concentrate on what we have to be thankful for. I cringe reading about your daughter. Hope she is back to normal soon. Thanks for this lovely post.

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  4. I severed the tendon to my right index finger almost 20yrs ago. Military doctors wasted no time putting me back together and after 3 months of physical therapy, things were much better. Best of wishes to your daughter!

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  5. I am sending good thoughts for your daughter's speedy and complete recovery. I'm glad you had some sunshine despite the shadow.

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  6. My husband had hand surgery a week ago with a highly regarded hand surgeon and it was so easy for us that I failed to realize that everyone is not as lucky. The day of the surgery I met a young man who had been a month waiting for workman's comp to get him to a doctor who said I can;t do it before sending him to this specialist. Some of the damage may be irreversible and the excuse was that they had to follow the workers comp guidelines. when nerves and tendons are involved we need to find a way to speed up care.

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  7. Hi Michele,
    what a busy time for you- I am so sorry to hear of your daughter's accident- what a terrible thing for her to have to cope with- we will hope that she heals fast and that there is no permanent damage.
    I did not know you had chickens too- you are a woman of many talents.
    My mother's cousin swears that the only good eggs to eat are farm eggs!
    Enjoy your time with family.
    Thanks again for the quilt album. I got it loaded up on my computer- not sure when I will get a chance to play but am looking forward to it.
    Warmest regards,
    Anna

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  8. Oh. my. goodness, woman, how I would have enjoyed trying ALL of those things with you (well, with the exception of the severed tendon...I am so sorry your daughter had such a debilitating injury!! Sending positive energy and thoughts for a speedy recovery for her.) I want some chickens. *sigh* My hubby thinks I'm quite mad. :) And your kitties are just adorable! It sounds like it was such a busy, fun-filled time with family it could make one quite envious. ;) Hugs, my dear kindred spirit!

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  9. Please tell your daughter that I'm wishing her a speedy recovery. All my best wishes--

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  10. I'm glad you had a wonderful time with your family. My prayers are for your daughter - for a full and speedy recovery - and for her mum who cannot help but be concerned!

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  11. So sorry to hear about your daughter's accident. I hope that she heals quickly and fully!

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Michele Bilyeu blogs "With Heart and Hands" as she journeys between Douglas, Alaska and Salem, Oregon.