The other night, I was out in the berry bed chasing the chicks. Seems that free ranging has led them to believe they are
big girls and can stay out all night, munching bugs under the stars. They realized that if they get in the berry bed that I am limited in my ability to capture them. Silly me! In my attempt to build a permaculture berry environment for birds, I also created a safe haven for the chicks. As I reached in blindly to catch Lucinda, a large thorn permeated the fabric part of my gardening glove and stung the soft skin on the back of my hand. After removing the splinter, my skin stopped stinging, and I continued to hunt the Sisters.
The next morning, I woke up to a throbbing sensation on my hand. I looked down. The small spot where the thorn had pricked me had turned into an sore little raised red splotch. While it wasn’t painful, it was a clear reminder my encounter with the bush. The sensation finally faded after a day or so.
Sometimes, our words are like thorns. In times of fear or anger, we protect ourselves with sharp zingers that sting upon contact. We don’t think about the end result–we merely react. The problem is, those kind of thorns aren’t easily removed and forgotten. They too leave that lingering sharp sensation of woundedness–rather than skin, however, it’s someone’s spirit. That kind of injury doesn’t fade in a day or so–it requires care and healing, apology and forgiveness.
And so, tonight, I returned to the berry patch at dusk. The girls fluttered their feathers and hid safely among the stems and vines. I dared not reach in blindly–I’d learned my lesson the first time. It will be awhile before I can trust that bush with my tender skin.