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Broken Spring

24 Mar

This transition from ice to water, from darkness to light, from winter to summer, is never painless. My life has regularly mirrored the broken spring…the painful transformation from rigid to receptive…the only way to beautiful growth.

The Start of Spring

Old man winter starts to relax his hand and the ice and snow that has solidified itself over the last two months starts to melt, but then the fingers tighten for a second and the mess that has softened tentatively refreezes because it will eventually melt again….and away.  The oscillation pops up the pavement, muddies the grass and ultimately gives way to dry and warmth…the only place growth can happen. It is not predictable and incredibly sloppy.

My Breaks in Spring

Break One

My junior year in high school, my sixteen-year-old athletic body broke itself in two places on a basketball court.  Not having ever been seriously hurt before, the full arm cast and full leg cast weighed down more than the left side of my body.

In an instant, I went from an indestructible, confident athlete to a wheelchair-riding invalid. All that had been my identity was shifted from speed and competence  to a seated and slowed perspective I had never imagined.

I depended on help to shower, on help to dress, on help to get my things from my backpack, and not a moment of it was pain-free.

Six weeks of casts, doctors, and looks and snickers from insecure teenagers. At the end of the sloppiness I had been profoundly and permanently changed.

The bones healed… strengthened in the places that had been broken, and the spirit of overwhelming cockiness had been broken and rebuilt too.

I appreciated the chance I had to get out of my wheelchair…impressed by the fact that the other kids with whom I shared wheelchair ramps would not have that option.

I saw what other parts of myself I had to offer the world when my coordination didn’t matter.

I recognized the loving and giving hands of my family and close friends. The ones who slowed down enough to walk with me.

I was laid bare in that broken spring.  Melting and freezing, melting and freezing. It is a transition toward growth…ever unpredictable, sloppy and painful.

The beauty that emerges depends upon it.

To be continued…there have been two subsequent “spring breaks” in my life. I’ll come back to visit those memories in upcoming blogposts.

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30 Comments

Posted by on March 24, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

30 responses to “Broken Spring

  1. Carol McGuire

    March 24, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    As painful as this experience was for you, the growth attained was miraculous. . . It gave you insights that have made you who you are, and who you can trust. A gift for a lifetime!

     
    • meaganfrank

      March 24, 2011 at 5:17 pm

      I’m pretty sure it was a growing experience for you too:) Neither of us asked for that one!

       
  2. cathykozak

    March 24, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    What an extraordinary experience for a teenager to come to terms with. The essence of it in this line, I think, “I was laid bare”. Indeed in laying bare, a deep compassion was seeded within you and it’s wonderful to see that compassion has grown into a fine, healthy plant with strong roots and sturdy branches and lovely fruit ;)

     
    • meaganfrank

      March 24, 2011 at 5:55 pm

      It was a unique experience for me…especially at the vulnerable age it happened. I was quickly grateful for the lessons, and I have since been compelled to find “fruit” in my growing pains. Thanks for reading…and for insight!

       
  3. Kathy

    March 24, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    Meagan what a clever post! I always enjoy your blog! Thanks!

     
  4. Cynthia Schuerr

    March 24, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    It’s amazing, Meagan, isn’t it? What we can learn from pain and humility. What a lovely post of growth and maturity.

     
    • meaganfrank

      March 25, 2011 at 1:04 am

      Absolutely amazing. If only pain and humility weren’t so painful and…humiliating :)
      MMF

       
  5. sam

    March 25, 2011 at 12:45 am

    Amazing experience. People break, heal, and get stronger. Thanks for sharing! :)

     
    • meaganfrank

      March 25, 2011 at 1:04 am

      Thanks Sam…yes, healing often makes us stronger. Thanks for visiting.
      MMF

       
  6. parenting ad absurdum

    March 25, 2011 at 3:30 am

    I love this post – it is amazing which experiences make us both stronger and less rigid.

     
    • meaganfrank

      March 25, 2011 at 3:57 am

      So true. Strength while softening. I love life’s little paradoxes!!
      MMF

       
  7. Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip

    March 25, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    What a beautifully written post about a transforming experience. It’s amazing how something like that can change the whole trajectory of your life, huh?

     
  8. meaganfrank

    March 25, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Thanks Naomi! Being thrown off course isn’t always a bad thing…it just means you are flying in a new direction.
    MMF

     
  9. Beth Winegarner

    March 25, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    Hi, thanks so much for your comment on my blog. I responded & would love to discuss further, if you’re open to it. http://backwardmessages.wordpress.com/2011/03/24/did-video-games-make-him-do-it/

     
    • meaganfrank

      March 26, 2011 at 2:00 pm

      Headed over now…an invitation to talk…be careful what you ask for:)

       
  10. Jillian

    March 26, 2011 at 4:40 am

    Beautiful Meagan! How traumatic that must have been, a true lesson in life. No wonder why you feel for Wade!

     
    • meaganfrank

      March 26, 2011 at 1:59 pm

      It is easier to empathize with broken Wade! When bones break, the spot where they heal is stronger than before it was broken. The same goes for human spirit!

       
  11. Meryl Jaffe

    March 27, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    This is a beautiful post. I love the use of metaphor to set up the story. I also love the message of the story. It is so true how as 16 year olds we feel so indestructable. You hit the nail right on the head.

     
    • meaganfrank

      March 27, 2011 at 5:54 pm

      Thanks Meryl. Time and distance makes the experience so much clearer than it was when I was going through it. I still knew at the time how important it all was for my life.
      MMF

       
  12. Alfie

    March 27, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story. Enjoyed your writing! Following you from MBC.

    http://www.reflectandrealize.blogspot.com/

     
    • meaganfrank

      March 27, 2011 at 5:55 pm

      Alfie,
      Thanks for stopping by! I am off to read your blog.
      MMF

       
  13. debras

    March 29, 2011 at 12:45 am

    Thanks for visiting my blog earlier today. I’m going to check out your other blogs also. Have a great night!

    Debra

     
    • meaganfrank

      March 29, 2011 at 1:55 am

      Thanks to you too! That is the best part about blog surfing…you run into some cool fish!
      MMF

       
  14. MumuGB

    April 2, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    An inspiring story. It is good to know that you made it, and that it made you, in a way, stronger. Or simply different!

     
    • meaganfrank

      April 3, 2011 at 3:23 am

      Thanks for taking the time to share your impressions. I am so glad I came out of that…in one piece and with the energy I needed to heal the other parts of me.
      MMF

       

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