Saturday, January 17, 2009

The one winged angel

I have been seeing a practitioner for lymph drainage therapy to help me deal with some of the health problems that I have been having lately. I established a ritual of giving her something each time I receive treatment because she is much more than a practitioner. She's a true friend. My plan was to make the small gift each time. The night before my appointment I remembered that I needed my gift so I grabbed a cinnamon applesauce ornament Jude and I made a few days earlier. It was a small angel with very delicate wings. I strung a piece of yarn through the small hole at the top and set it with a stack of items I would be taking with me the next morning. I wasn’t happy with the way the yarn looked though, and thought to myself that I would try to fix that.

The next morning, I slipped the delicate angel into my coat pocket thinking that I would need to be careful to keep the wings from breaking off. When I got out to the car, I carefully removed her and set her on the passenger seat just in case I forgot that it was in my pocket. I had a little bit of time before my appointment and decided to try to change the yarn to a thin piece of homespun fabric. The problem was that the hole was too small. I was really trying to get the fabric through, but I didn’t want to force it too much.

I decided to give up on trying to get the fabric through. And without doing anything that I can remember to make this happen, the angel just slipped right off my lap and landed near my gearshift. I looked down and the left wing had snapped off.

My first thought was, “Now I have nothing to give.” Then I decided that I would give it anyway and just suggest that this was truly a case where it is the thought that counts and an offer to replace it with a different angel next time. I slipped it back into my coat pocket and went in for my appointment. While I was waiting, I thought of this quote,

“We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another.”

I wrote that quickly on a piece of paper I found and thought that the quote made the angel special in some way.

When my friend came in, we had a discussion about my situation…my health. I had really been struggling. It was almost Christmas and I was still sick. I was frustrated, tired, and feeling a bit hopeless. We elaborated on a brief conversation I had with a friend just a couple of days earlier about surrender. She suggested that I try accepting this fate that has become me not trying to fix it or even understand it. It was one of those conversations that bring you through a full range of emotions….desperation, hopelessness, anger, hope, gratitude.

Then it struck me. The one winged angel was so symbolic of what I was going through in that moment and represented a summary of our conversation. The wing was broken. I had no way to fix it. I gave it anyway. And it was an even better gift after all it went through.

My friend and I gave each other a huge hug at the end of my visit. We knew the Spirit had been with us, guiding, speaking, and embracing us through our time together. Those moments are heaven on earth.

This experience left me with renewed strength to face the hand that I have been dealt without being frustrated by it or trying to fix it. My hope is that somehow all this will make me a stronger person or help someone else, but really it doesn’t matter because I’m obviously not in control of this situation and I have to stop believing that I am.


“We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another.” ~Luciano de Crescenzo

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