This past Saturday afternoon the skies cleared and I went outside to rake the leaves scattered all over the yard. I had my rake and a pair of gloves. Listening to music I began my chore. After about an hour I felt sensitivity and pain between my thumb and index finger on my right hand. Pulling off the gloves I discovered a big blister. I changed the way I was raking so as not to make the blister any worse but soon felt the same sensations on my left hand. Matching blisters! I wondered why I wore the gloves if I was going to get hurt anyway?
Life can be difficult. We do many things to protect us, those we love, and, hopefully, those who cannot protect themselves. However it’s not enough. Other forces impinge upon our lives and relationships. We find ourselves defenseless in the presence of chaos and happenstance.
Perhaps we also take some protections in our lives for granted. Marriage; two people once united become a couple drifting apart, the bond of friendship once rock solid breaks, jobs we like downsized or morphed into something less fulfilling. Sickness, transitions, death. The many protections once found in these no longer viable.
Is there a way to stop our protections from failing? No. Is there a way not to take for granted the people who are in our lives if only for a season? I hope so. Is there a way to live in the present and not obsess over a future unknown or mourn for a past that we can’t return to? I’m still working on it.