Bloom Where You Are Cornered

A meditation by a friend in recovery. May you, too, see God growing something good in the darkest, sterile corners.

When I feel cornered or stuck, even from a needed stillness that promises to bring good, I fight fears.

A recent abdominal hernia surgery left me flat on my back with a wide velcro binder pressing me in on all sides. In the first week, an involuntary hiccup lit up my center line like a streak of fire slow to burn out. I couldn’t turn over in my sleep, and if I needed to use the restroom, I shook in the hands that had to help me.

“This is a time of rest,” I’d tell myself. “You are allowed to be weak, to heal. Receive it.”

Still my fears invariably argued back, not just in words but in my sinking chest after seeing my stooped form in a mirror or my throbbing head after lying down and trying to flex my feet without any use of my torso.

I don’t often have to face my personal bankruptcy, where neither internal resources like simple side muscles or the power of positive thinking nor outside resources like medicine, vitamins, money, or people can produce quick results.

“So,” my dread nags, “what if this doesn’t change? Nothing’s really happening here. In fact, don’t you feel worse?”

In the midst of my recovery, my aunt sent a picture she took of a simple drain with moss growing in the corners. She’s a chemist by trade and sculptor by hobby, who sees the surface of things in ways I can’t. She understands how invisible chain-links and patterns hold the world together, from the smallest amino acid bonds in polymers to the clefts and hills carved out by glaciers in the scablands of Washington state.

“Even in your corners there will be blooms.”

When I saw the small clumps of green on her drain, it immediately reminded me of the saying, “Bloom where you’re planted.” But as I stared longer, nature seemed to encourage even more: “Bloom where you’re cornered,” or better yet, “Even in your corners, there will be blooms.”

Moss doesn’t grow from a root system in soil but from a web of threads started by tiny spores carried on the wind. It clings to soil, wood and stone. Faith seems to grow in a similar way. It’s started by an unseen source who creates visible results but often very slowly and unpredictably when planted in your heart.

Like seeing green moss in the corners of a drain, faith sees God growing something good in the darkest, sterile corners.

Today, I’ll try to lie down and let him.

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Bloom Where You Are Cornered

3 thoughts on “Bloom Where You Are Cornered

  • March 2, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    no living creature likes being cornered. All have a strategy, an instinctual protective reaction which looks nothing like blooming!
    Thank you for reframing corners

  • March 2, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    Though I often see in terms of light in dark, you have given me much to think about in looking at plant life. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • March 29, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    Your description of the universe being held together by invisible chain links and patterns, alongside the description of the sculpting that long term natural processes do to the surface of the earth was poetically beautiful and powerfully insightful. Thank you for sharing the uniqueness of what you see. It builds the faith of others in ways nothing else could.

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