Burnish: To make smooth or glossy, usually by applying surface pressure


I had such intentions when I headed into this summer. I work as an after school teacher so the summers have once more become magical times of child-like leisure. I, of course, filled them with plans. I’m running my first half marathon in September and wanted to drop about 15 pounds during my summer training. I wanted to write a book, a proposal and perhaps a novella. I had garden work, yard work, meditation and canning on the list. I even wanted to refinish the cool little end tables I picked up at the Salvation Army for a song.

Then my 78 mother fell while out on a walk and broke both her arms.

In amongst the panic of getting to the hospital, talking to doctors, picking up prescriptions and bringing her home with me, I saw my summer shifting and changing, becoming less my dream and morphing into something unrecognizable. It’s like someone had snatched away my idyllic summer and gave me one that was far different,  one that would be pretty much consumed with care-giving. Consumed by someone I love, but consumed nonetheless. What happened to my summer? The summer of satisfying work? The summer of transformation? The summer of personal growth?


Even if my summer is different than what I planned, it is probably the best summer I could imagine for personal growth. I am being burnished, you see, inside and out by applied pressure. Sanded and polished. Stretched.  Changed.

Action: Remind myself daily that having the ability to adapt, stretch and flex is a sign of  strength and keeps us from snapping.

Image courtesy of Tina Phillips/freedigitalphotos.net