The day began with a run. An early morning welcomed me as I laced my shoes and ran down the driveway. An unusually cool gust serenaded me. My eyes gazed at the sky. Cloudless and light, the sun still slept. With one my dearest friends, K. we ran a loop around our neighborhood, pacing a very casual, but effective run. These runs are my life line. They invigorate me with an energy that sustains me through the end of the day.

Yesterday, something rather unexpected happened.  As my feet gained a quiet cadence against the brown jagged pavers, my shoe caught on the edge, and for five seconds my body flung into free fall. My hands cushioned my fall as my knees skidded against the hard surface. No broken bones, but two very skinned knees. With the adrenaline pulsing, I finished my run. Throughout the day, my knees burned, the purple and red strawberries hurting everytime the skin creased. I realized my injuries were superficial and minor, but they left me with an impression.

The forward motion of my fall, my inability to save myself from hitting the pavement, and the resulting blood will leave two very prominent scars on my knees. It made me think about some recent events I’d witnessed, some direct and indirect. I realize that sometimes being hurt is part of the breakthrough. It offers us the ability to heal. And I’ve always believed in the pendulum swing. 

Without realizing the depth of one emotion, how can we embrace another? As I walked into the house, my daughter noticed my skinned knees. She ran to the medicine cabinet, she grabbed some bandaids and exclaimed, “Don’t worry, your knees will be better.”  There is this need to fix, to heal, and patch up whatever ails us. Sometimes, at least I’ve come to realize, there is a benefit in trying to sink into the hurt. Without it, the healing is only superficial. Skinned knees. Sometimes they are essential.