Wednesday, November 28, 2012
I had purchased new blue lights to replace the older bulb lights that we gave away two years ago, and it took some remembering why we had done that (we were tired of them) so this morning found us finishing up the job started yesterday: clipping on the remainder of lights along the roof line and winding them around bushes and trees. As I wound the lights around the hideous lavender bush (it needs to be yanked and replanted--one of the side effects of being that intimate with your front yard is realizing how long you've ignored it), I thought about the house across the street and the difference between her Christmas decorations and mine.
She has candy canes and gingerbread men. I have strands of lights woven in among dying lavender bushes, the places where the strands join together carefully taped with silver duct tape. Hers look great in the day, but disappear at night. You should probably avert your eyes from ours in the day, but hey--in the night we really shine. Literally.
It got me thinking about my day yesterday, with three doctor visits. The first, to a dentist, started with me tripping and landing on all fours on the pavement outside in the parking lot. I looked down and there were no holes in my new jeans, but hidden by those jeans, my knees were quite sore and achy, and my hands hurt although on the surface although they looked fine. I think my ego was more bruised than my body, but still.
The next doctor was to schedule one of those loathsome every-ten-year tests. And the last doctor was the oncologist--a check up on last year's cancer surgery. Sitting in waiting rooms gave me a chance to think about what goes on under the skin, physically. I do spend some time in church thinking about what goes on under the skin, spiritually, and if my outward pronouncements and behavior match up with my desire to have a generous heart. But to sit and think of the muscles, tissues, bones, blood systems, cancer and surgical scars is not something I usually do. Or like to do.
It's kind of like my Christmas lights. Even though we'd rather not, we have to open ourselves up to the harsh light of day to see the woody stems, prickly branches and dead spots. I realize that I'm lucky in that I don't have endless doctor's visits; these are sporadic events. Yet they force me to think about mortality, about relationships -- all those Big Things -- as I wait for my turn to be called back to the exam room.
But I'd rather think about last night when I went outside to see what our handiwork had wrought: the blue lights were a slice of the heavens of blue and white stars in outer space. I thought of that phrase from The Little Prince, by de Saint Expury, paraphrased here: What is essential is hidden from our eyes. It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. I know he did not mean that heart of the doctor's office.
So for now, for this Christmas season, although I am aware on those things that are hidden, I'm keeping my eyes -- and heart -- focused heavenward, on the glowing lights.