Wednesday, 21 November 2012

What have I learned from last summer?

I feel fine, am resuming all normal activities, and the events of last summer are starting to fade into story. 

Yesterday a friend asked  permission to ask, in his terms, a loaded question. "What did I feel I had learned?" He was referring to the stuff of self-help lit where people warble on about cancer as a gift that changed their life and forced them to appreciate each day as a precious gift, yadayada.

Guess what: I have done that most of my life. Credit goes to a combination of temperament and upbringing. My parents instilled gratitude and appreciation* for small daily blessings into us kids, along with an awareness of how many people in the world have less.

I had already asked the question myself: "What am I supposed to learn from the whole cancer plus accident episode?"

Quite frankly I am not sure. Not gratitude, that was already present. As for facing death: I love life, but am not terribly afraid of its ending. I am not yet old, but no longer  young or even middle-aged either. The thought of living decades in misery and/or as a burden to others scares me more than leaving this dimension after three score and ten. I feel at peace spiritually. Other worlds, if they exist, will be faced in due time. Nothing has changed in that regard.

Perhaps the greatest lesson learned is accepting help instead of being the helper. It also brought home the importance of investing in social capital. Friendships and neighbourhood networks need to be cultivated as much as gardens.

Meanwhile we shall muddle on, doing such good and grasping such pleasure as comes across our path. I have become increasingly skeptical of the "you create your own reality" philosophy for many reasons, but that is a whole other blog, more fit for the Rants and Reflections section.

Prior to the accident/cancer I had already distilled my Big Question answers to these borrowed phrases:
Be here now. Cultivate the garden. Just be kind.

I see no reason to change that.

*astro note: both parents had Moon conjunct Jupiter.


  1. Excellent post...I'm so pleased to hear you so positive and feeling good. Healing is always in the attitude we hold as vibration....Blessing my friend you are an example to be treasured.

  2. I learned from you here, Ien and a valuable lesson it is too. When I started reading, I thought, "I should do this too... write what I learned this summer." Good thing I read further before launching into my own diatribe ;) Wonderful words of wisdom! Be here. Cultivate the garden. Be kind. When I grow up, I want to be like you :)

    1. Gee Tint, don't say that, you have so much more on the ball! Apart from the early immigration/tipi thing I have lived an uneventful timid life. It suits me, but your canvas is more colourful than that. I always admire your close and loving family, and the way you have picked yourself up and kept going across 3 continents.

  3. Wonderful writing...sometimes the gift is to let others love. Peace to you and yours...


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