photo 1

I had a minor bike wipeout this morning.

That happens sometimes when you combine slightly risky riding with slightly poor timing.

And sometimes accidents happens despite all of your best precautions.

So I found myself with a nasty little wound in my right hand.
(this is potentially really inconvenient when you’re a photographer, but it’s not too bad)

But look what I found in my left hand…

photo 2

… a delicious basket of fresh picked figs, courtesy of my wonderful neighbor Jessie.

And seriously, these are quite possibly the most delicious things that I’ve ever tasted.

Now here’s the thing: If I hadn’t had the bike accident, odds are that the timing of the rest of my morning would have been slightly different, and I wouldn’t have run into Jessie. In turn, she wouldn’t have had the help of a tall person to climb the ladder to complete her backyard harvest, and I wouldn’t have had these delicious sweet treats shared with me.

Yes, this is a metaphor for life.

We so often crave the sweet moments of life, and have aversion to the pain. But they go hand in hand. Or we have to use both hands.

(Yes, I’m deliberately referencing Ani Difranco here, because, well, she’s pretty awesome.)

It’s really easy to take a limited perspective and judge things from a simplistic point of view: Ouch, I hurt my hand, “this is bad.” Or yum! I got some figs, “this is good.” 

Sweetness always comes, but eventually it always passes. And pain always comes, and it too passes. And such is the rollercoaster ride of life.

There’s a Buddhist saying somewhere about “ten thousand joys and ten thousand sorrows” that comes to mind. And the Christian concept of “thy will be done” is a good one to remember  in times of pain as well. Otherwise, we find ourselves just arguing with reality, and reality always wins.

Moreoften than not, the real answer to the question of good vs bad is “it’s complicated”, and the thing to appreciate is that “this is life.”

And for that, I am grateful.

And for you, I am grateful.

And heck, why not complete this gratuitous Ani reference with a picture and a quote:

and both hands
now use both hands
oh, no don’t close your eyes…

Ani Difranco