Not as it appears

Some trees leaf out in many different shapes. The little buds unfurl to reveal jagged edges, rounded edges, long skinny leaves. In the end, they all end up looking the same, once the heat of summer warms them and brings them to full fruition. The box elders in the forest are a good example of this. If you picked these three leaves off the tree, you would never guess they all came from the same limb.

Allegory - metaphor - is a beautiful way to learn about the deep truths of the universe. These leaves showed me something about cancer: things are not always as they appear. I know, I know, it's an old lesson and one I should have learned long ago. Yet it is realized afresh, at new levels, at different stages of our lives. What it means to me today is that what seems like cancer cropping up again may not be. Just because it looks like the same thing at the outset does not mean the outcome will be the same.

I found hope in the leaf on this box elder that looks for all the world like a baby maple leaf. That's what I've got in my life now: what looks for all the world like a baby cancer leaf. Yet it might turn out to be something completely different. I need to absorb this lesson, let it soak deep into my soul, so that I am spared the angst every time I get a poor test result in the future.

What's down the road we can't say
And the road behind don't matter
But every mile along the way
Is just another mile together
Unconcerned about the twists and turns
We're taking it nice and slow
Safe and sound, covering ground
Steady as she goes

Yesterday is dead and gone
And tomorrow takes care of itself
We'll just keep on keeping on
'Cause we ain't stumbled yet

One foot in front of the other
Take one step and then take another
Just walking and talking and moving in the same direction
Putting one foot in front of the other
Little by little gets a whole lot further
Hitting our stride, one foot in front of the other

~One Foot in Front of the Other, Leroy Parnell