From the Core


Trees have always spoken to me   This one caught my attention in the earlier part of the day when the sap sparkled in the sunshine. This afternoon in the shade, I returned. As I stood looking out at the sap frozen in its place, I wondered what comes out of us, the deep core of our being. I have been very aware that I have not cried much these past eight months through my diagnosis and illness. Instead, the called upon emotion was courage. I just had to get through this step and then gear up for the next one. I had to armour up for this scan, this test, the vampires in the lab, this procedure, and the surgery. Once I made it through that, I concentrated on recovering well.  When all that was accomplished, I could begin to breathe again and that is when the gift of tears finally arrived, three months after surgery.  Almost anything will set me off: gratitude, joy, frustration, disappointment.

When the decision to proceed with chemotherapy was made, I was even more fragile as I let go  of more dreams and hopes. I have rummaged around a bit to see where I packed up my bravery but I have not located it all yet. Instead the gift of tears remains. At my treatment session yesterday, I began to cry as the drugs made my hand feel as if someone had slammed down a sledge hammer on it. My particular cocktail does sting apparently but it should not hurt that much.  I could feel my frustration grow as I tried to explain to the nurse that I usually tolerate pain well but this was not the case with my first two treatments. I was embarrassed by my tears and wish I could have more grace. The nurse assured me that all was fine but as I reached for the tissue to wipe away my tears, I knew I was frustrated. I took a deep breath, clenched the hot face cloth in my hand, and offered up the discomfort.

When I stood before this gorgeous tree this morning, I could see that this bleeding tree’s sap shone in the light. These tears it was weeping were stunning as they sparkled, as if redeemed by something greater than itself when what was deep within spilled out for others to see. Nature has always taught me valuable lessons. I think this might be another one of those  moments.



Reflection Questions:

What lessons have your learned from the natural world that have helped you with a struggle or joy?

Have you ever shared a struggle that helped others see the glory of God?


Shining One,

You transform us

From our cores out

Splashing glitter even on

Our broken parts

To use for your glory.


About sstyves

A Canadian prairie girl rooted in Ignatian spirituality, I seek God in all things. Whether I catch a glimpse of the Divine and delight in its presence in nature or in the beauty of an encounter with someone, I am ever so grateful that I can recognize the Creator. I greet each new day with hope and happiness, expecting blessings and miracles because I am created to praise, love and serve God. This blog is one way of realizing that through my writings, prayers, and photography. To God be the Glory!
This entry was posted in #CancerSurvivor, #Miracles, #prayer, #Saints, Catholic, Christian, Faith, Spirituality and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to From the Core

  1. Monica says:

    Thanks for this post and the beautiful prayer. I have copied it down. I too have been touched in healing ways by Nature. I think we are more attuned to the beauty of Nature when our emotions are most raw and our normal defences are down. The image of the tree is a beautiful one. I admire your sensitivity, openness and faith through all. All the best.

  2. says:

    Sending you a hug after this post Suzanne. Keep your spirits up. love anne

    Date: Thu, 20 Aug 2015 00:33:44 +0000 To:

  3. B Nolan says:

    I love you dear Suz!!! Sending big hug to you right now!

    Sent from my iPhone


    • sstyves says:

      Thanks, Barb. Tears are healing and will allow me to move on. I’m grateful to be out West for a few days to be immersed in the beauty. I’m sleeping well and able to take walks in the nearby forest.

  4. Ann says:

    My experience is that tears are cleansing, unburdening and opening. They are indeed a gift! So glad you’re allowing yourself this gift. Being in nature when I’m grieving is healing because it helps me to feel like “my” pain is part of something so much bigger. It also reminds me of the beauty in this world. Glad you’ll be able to soak up some of that beauty out West. Take it in fully!

    • sstyves says:

      Thanks for understanding, Ann! The tears have felt like a gift–as if a part of my heart is awakening again. I’m grateful that I have this brief time in beauty between treatments. It’s been healing. Blessings! Xo.

  5. Karen Wheadon says:

    Nature…one of the greatest gifts we have left in this world. Happy to say it has brought me many moments of peace and pleasure in happy times and painful times:)

    Sent from my iPad


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