Day 2: Pain Coupled With Beauty

Day 2: thorn bush at Roman Nose State Park

Yesterday morning, we decided to catch a quick hike at Roman Nose and try to find some geocaches before getting ready for Halloween. Not too far into the hike, just near a long bridge were several thorn bushes with nasty looking barbs. Pain in the midst of all of that beauty, if you weren’t careful. While looking at them, I started tucking away thoughts for this particular post. Overall, my life is full of beauty, but lately, I keep getting tangled up in the thorns that seem to be on my path. 

Life is a giant hike, the ultimate hike. We journey forward, experiencing all sorts of amazing things, some spectacular, others not so much. For me, 2016 has been the year of the thorn. Some are my own personal thorns, while others creep across my direct path, but belong to my husband and children. 

Earlier this year, I was diagnosed with casteochondritis, which is a fancy way to say I messed up the ligimants and cartilage in my chest.  It’s one of those injuries they can’t really do anything about, but has to heal on its own. Needless to say, I’m still fighting it as anything and everywthing can cause it to hurt. As frustrating as it is, it isn’t as bothersome to me as the thorn that struck in September. When going to my annual eye exam, I was sent for a scan and some Fundus photos. Instead of hearing, “everything is ok”, I heard “we are sending you to a retina specialist”.  Knowing something could be going down with your vision would be worriesome for anyone. For me, the thought is devastating as I love to take photos, I love to hike, I eat life with my eyes. This thorn pricks at me daily. 

When you couple your own thorns with those of your family, things like your spouse having siatica and bulging discs, one child having been in a car wreck at the beginning of the year and now his second car has to have a new transmission and his twin facing his first military deployment, you feel like you are being choked down, like you are pricked on all sides. BUT that is when you stop struggling and you look beyond the pain the is blinding you from seeing anything else. You look at nature, through the camera lens, at life with a fresh set of eyes, no longer taking for granted what you are seeing. You look at the amazing food art one child is producing and the honor in the other and see how they are grabbing life with both hands and are truly happy. And when you do this, the pricks don’t sting quite as bad. You start to see the beauty that is right in front of your face. You begin to continue that hike forward into life instead of letting it pass you by. 

There will always be thorns. It’s up to us to choose to push forward in spite of them being on our path, and taking in how awe inspiring life really can be in spite of some of the pain we have to go through during the journey. 

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