My son was merely a few months old when he got his first minor wound. A well-meaning friend who eagerly volunteered to babysit was reading him a story when turning a page sliced his tiny finger open, causing it to bleed. Ouch! More for me than him. The good thing about getting hurt when you’re that young is you don’t remember a thing. My poor friend? It took her a little longer to recover.
Wounds. Who wants ’em? They’re painful. They scar. And every now and then, on a particularly bad day, they get infected, grow or spread to other parts of the body which, as we all know, requires immediate attention or they could leave us immobile.
No wonder so many of us avoid them at any cost. We stuff our cars, our lockers and our bathrooms with first aid kits. We pick up our sundries at the drugstore with a side of antibacterial spray. We board a boat or a plane with the requisite emergency stash of bandages, ointments, balms and whatever other supposed cure-alls. Ready for anything. Just in case.
We do whatever it takes to appease our worried minds that painful wounds are kept at bay. We keep a watchful eye over our children and loved ones and tell them to take care as they venture off without us. We assess situations and rate them between the range of safe to dangerous, generally opting for those closer to the former.
And still we bleed. We can never avoid wounds completely, I suppose. Accidents happen. We slip. We slide. We sink into carelessness and lose sight of risks as we plunge headlong toward something we love, or think we love, or could possibly love.
So we freefall. And in the process, we scrape our skin. We splinter our bones. We crush our spirits. We shred our hearts and feel the searing pain we incur just for living. For being and becoming. And maybe for heeding that audacious whisper of a passion whose voice won’t be silenced.
And we do it all over again. We’re funny that way. Because we’re human and it comes with the territory.
We hurt. And our wounds, no matter how deep-seated, deserve a chance to heal.
Are there some wounds that do not heal?
When a wound doesn’t seem to be healing, should we examine how we’re treating it? How do we know when it’s time to take a closer look?
Do we as a society value safety too much? Too little? Not enough?
Image by Dawson Designs