I believe pain can be defined only by what one has suffered. To those with a gallstone, broken ribs, severe burns, or a migraine, that is the worst pain of all. To a child with a broken toe, or lost parent, that is the worst. To Dachau alumni, pain has another meaning entirely. To them, physical pain can mean nothing at all.

To a warrior, such as I have been, pain lies in the killing, because killing leaves a hole in your soul. Other wounds heal more readily.

I spoke the other day to a wise but cranky elder lady in our peace group, who stated that nobody could understand the pain she went through when her beloved father died when she was 16. That was her worst.

I was tempted to say how my father killed himself in the kitchen when I was 9, and that I lost all of my four children, but that might only diminish the mourning to which she clung, and that wasn’t mine to do.

Pain may also be defined by how one passes through it.


About lifegrower

Peter V. Fossel has been gardening since he was nine, and has been an organic farmer for the last 20 years. His most recent book, “Organic Farming, Everything You Need to know” was published by Voyageur Press, Minneapolis, 2007. He’s written numerous gardening articles for Organic Gardening, Horticulture, Country Journal, Out Here, and American Profile among others. He was Gardens Manager for The Hermitage, home of President Andrew Jackson in Tennessee before returning to Cape Cod to start his newest organic venture, Swan River Farm in Dennisport, MA.
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