This morning I was working on making gourd birdhouses. My gourds were grown last year and have been sitting in the garden waiting for me to do something with them for all this time. They have been moved from place to place, had things piled on them, been out in the rain and in the blazing summer sun. The rains had yielded black and white molds and the sun had baked these fungal imperfections into place.
As I looked at them, I realized that the ones that were the most beautiful were the ones that had endured the most hardship, had the most mottling, showed the most contrast from sun bleaching. Instead of painting them, I will be putting a coat of polyurethane on them to preserve those beautiful imperfections. My favorite of these will be made into a vase to have in the house to hold flowers from the garden. The others will be used as pieces of art for the garden and hopefully a home for some of the sparrows and finches that inhabit our yard.
Isn’t that how people are too? Some of the most gorgeous people I know are the people who have endured hardship, have the scars and have emerged as something new and completely different on the other side. In fact, sometimes when I look at something that is too perfect I distrust it – is the image photoshopped; did the person have surgery; are they brilliant make up artists; or are they simply deceptive people great at making others think that they are perfect and happy?
I need to work on accepting my own human imperfections, shortcomings, blemishes and scars and trust that they will be transformed into something beautiful on the other side. I need to accept that they are a living trademark of my own humanity. Like the gourd, I need to simply be and know that life has bigger plans for me and for the scars I’ve picked up on my journey.