Mending is neither glamorous nor easy, but I’ve discovered it can be a calming antidote to the frantic pace of my everyday life. It requires me to stop in the middle of commitments — a day job and a marriage and freelance assignments — and commutes to focus on one small, tangible thing. There is satisfaction in threading a needle with just the right color of thread and making tiny, precise stitches to close a hole or hold a seam together. I’m always amazed by the strength of those stitches and the sense of accomplishment I feel afterward.
From our hastily packed bag, I pulled out the tattered green copy of the book we had been reading as a family. Curled up tightly on the hospital bed next to my pale, tired boy, I flicked through the yellowed pages to find our place. Yes, that was it. A pile of neatly arranged feathers, topped with two carefully crossed crow’s feet and a beak, had been found in the center of the barnyard. Jinx the cat had been framed. As we read together in that hospital bed, what took place was a holy alchemy. Ordinary words on paper were transformed into extraordinary glimpses of hope.
A seed. I have wondered, is it dead? It is in so many ways a remnant of something good that was before. A fruit or a flower that has already spent itself in glory. A seed is the remains, fit only for burial.
A seed, small and dry, should be shrouded and cast into the soil. But it is not dead.
Nor is it yet fully alive.
I slipped into the venue and climbed up to the balcony where I planned to observe the show from a distance. But so help me, by the middle of the second song I found myself headed for the stairs to stand among the crowd right in front of the stage. Why? Because my favorite band from high school was putting on an amazing live show. They were great! They moved me from being a distant observer to being a part of the experience.
Because the truth is, you and I and Eden are all incomplete. We were made for a world beyond blood work and teasing and life expectancies. We were made for perfection.
Perhaps the beauty in Eden’s face is that she knows this. She radiates joy not in spite of what is “not right” about life but because of it. Because every loss we experience points us to the time when loss will be no more. Because life itself is more right than we realize.