Saturday, October 23, 2010

Eye, Eye, Eye!

I'm writing this week with an incredible sense of gratitude and humility. Last Sunday, you see, I did a really stupid thing. Sitting on the deck in the late afternoon, after an inspiring day of attending church, reading about spirituality, and enjoying my lucious leisure, I decided to do some overhead pruning. I ignored all the yardwork safety gear in my sunroom (footware, gloves, and eye protection) and simply grabbed the long-handled pruner to take care of that one branch that seemed out of place. Some time and many branches later, I went in the house and found that numerous small pieces of dried leaf were tucked into my eyes. I washed them out and thought nothing of it.

The next morning I woke up to one swollen eye and intense pain. A trip to the eye doctor confirmed that I had a jagged scratch on the cornea of my left eye. Four days of eye drops, ice packs, fuzzy vision, poor sleep, pain, and terror crawled by. Then yesterday I got a clean bill of health as the eye doctor put in drops to identify damaged cells and found none on my cornea. Truly a blessing.

A nine point zero on the Richter scale of personal trauma, this week jolted me hard. Ran through all the tasks my eyes do every day for me. Ran through all the joy that comes in my world through my eyes. Ran through the travails of those I've known and loved who've had vision limitations. Ran through all the changes I'd have to make if something happened to the miracles that are my eyes.

Yesterday, ironing in the sunroom on a stunning fall afternoon, I nearly wept at the clear, vibrant sights before me. The scarlet viburnum! The gilded walnut leaves! The chalky aspen bark! The white slash of Oregon junco wings! The cheery azure of October sky! The elegant grey swish of squirrel tail! The nearly imperceptible twitch of my dog's nostrils as she dozes in the sun! The smooth pale blue of freshly ironed Oxford cloth!

My prayer of thanks went on and on. As evening made its visit, I gave thanks for the coral band of sunset, for the moon disk peeping through aspen leaves, for the scarves of cloud flailing in charcoal sky, for the joy of seeing it all.

Eye, eye, eye! I am a chastened viewer. I offer praise and humble thanks for my sight. I pray for the ability to be a worthy steward of this gifted miracle. Eye, eye, eye!

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