I’m getting older. I’m 52 years old; two years older than my father was when he passed away from lung cancer. At the age of 45, I, too, was diagnosed with cancer of a different variety: leukemia. I’m happy to say that I’ve been in remission for seven years, now.
People react to a cancer diagnosis in different ways. I had this feeling that I would be suddenly transported into this wise woman. I would have a new, appreciative outlook on life. People would look at me and say, “There is a lady who has been to hell and back! Look at the joy on her face! Look at the purpose in her life!”
I wish it was so.
I seem to be more lost than ever. My faith in God is greater. I can say that. I just still don’t know my purpose. I keep waiting for that lightening bolt…that “Oh, YES!” moment. I want to be wise. I have five grandchildren and another baby girl on the way. I want them to feel like they can come to me for good advise. I want to gather them around me like baby chicks and feed them. I want them to feel God’s love through my love for them.
A few weeks ago, I was walking down a dirt road that is not far from my home. This is something I love to do. My mind feels at peace and my thoughts run free as my feet press against the hard, dusty earth. The trees offer their shade and protection, reaching their arms over me as in a game of “London Bridge”. Birds sing their sweet songs to me. Rabbits dart in the brush and watch as I pass by. I’m alone and yet, I’m not. I know God is with me. Being in full view of his creation makes this reality ever more present. So much of my walking time is spent researching, analyzing and sorting out my life. My need to create clashes daily with my need to feel useful. The absence of my children in my everyday life has left me in a puzzled existence. I don’t quite know how I fit in anymore.
On this particular walk, I ran into a spider’s web. This happens often on dirt roads. It has alway been a wonderment to me how they get that sticky thread all the way across the width of the road, but they do! I reached up my hand to try and wipe it’s creepiness from off my sweaty face with a feeling of disgust. As I walked on, I made a mental metaphoric connection with the spider’s web and wisdom. I pictured the spider’s web. It, like wisdom, is such a beautiful thing. In the early morning light, it is covered in dew and each drop of moisture sparkles like a perfect crystal strung upon a glistening thread. It is expertly crafted by a superior, intelligent being, waiting to serve a intended purpose. How much skill went in the weaving of it!
When we get “caught” in the web of wisdom, do we fight it? Do we try, like I did with the real one, to get away from it so that we are free to do our own will; or, do we wait patiently to be “transformed” into usefulness for someone else? Do we take that wisdom and feed the souls of others?
There is so much wisdom out there. “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.” Jesus said this in Matthew 9:37 (New King James Version). Our elders are all around us waiting for someone to listen to what they have learned through their years on this earth. Do we despise them? Are their weaknesses and infirmities all we can see?
If it is God’s will, I hope in the months to come to share some wisdom, some strands of golden web, from the sages I come in contact with. I also hope to share stories from my ancestors, as well as poems and short stories of my own.