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Michael's Metaphors of Life Journal

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Cultivating Our Own Garden Where Truth Blooms

August 9th, 2020 by Michael Dyet

Hmmm, should we think more and listen less in this perplexing time of information overload?

One of the advantages of blogging is the window it affords me to look back and reflect. In the spirit of hindsight, and looking for context to make sense of this unsettling year, I looked back three years to my mid-summer posts.

Three years ago, I was in the hospital suffering the misery of a twisted colon and preparing for surgery. Three and a half weeks later, recuperating at home, I wrote about Knockdown Fastballs – The Myth of Invincibility Deconstructed:

We are gifted in our youth with the belief that we are invincible – possessed of a preternatural ability to dodge the numerous knockdown fastballs that life throws at us as an inevitable consequence of living. This belief is, of course, an illusion. The natural laws of life eventually catch up with us and claim their pound of flesh.

So, with due humility, I confess: I am not invincible or immune. Nor am I a superhero with special powers of overnight recovery. Where the world of metaphor meets the real feet-on-the-ground world, knockdown fastballs have my number and I cannot always evade them. It is a sobering reality.

On the plus side, I learned many valuable lessons from this unpleasant experience. I have emerged on the other side a bit wiser and with a more realistic outlook on life.

Two years ago, I wrote about The 200 Million Year Wisdom of the Turtle:

Turtles are traditionally seen as the embodiment of the notion that slow and steady wins the race. But they also remind us of the wisdom of taking life as it comes. They do not react to and resist the forces around them, but rather simply accept what is and move on with their life with fortitude and tolerance.

A Painted Turtle regarding me with is prehistoric countenance and nonjudgmental attitude – a random act of metaphor to remind me that wisdom is born of patience and that contentment comes from taking life one day at a time

One year back, I reflected on The Life Fully Lived: Colouring Outside the Lines:

As we mature and grow into adulthood, we learn that there are rules to the game of life and often penalties for noncompliance. We develop an inner voice of reason that warns us when we are treading close to the line and steers us back onto the acceptable path.

But part of maturing is recognizing that a life fully lived occasionally means breaking the rules. Some of life’s special moments happen when we step outside the lines.

Life has rules for valid reasons. Most often the best course of action is to follow them. But now and then, life calls us to break the rules, leave the beaten path and go where we are not supposed to go. It is often when, exercising our best judgment, we colour outside the lines that we experience those memorable moments that make life truly worth living.

The common theme in these posts is wisdom – how it is sometimes painfully earned, often arises from unexpected sources and occasionally calls upon us to break the rules. I came across an African proverb which elegantly summarizes these truths:

Knowledge is like a garden, if it cannot be cultivated, it cannot be harvested.

In a year when life has been turned upside down and it is hard to separate fact from fiction, we should chose to cultivate our own garden – nurturing the flowers and yanking out the weeds.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com .

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