The Puzzle

This piece is one that emerged as a journal entry several years ago as I was beginning my journey of healing. I often turn to this piece when I am facing a challenging time in my life:.

The Puzzle

It is as if I am sitting on the floor working on an elaborate puzzle that is my life. It is a process, but it seems to be coming together nicely. There are a few false starts in some sections, but I rearrange some pieces and make sense of it. My puzzle is just becoming comfortable, and seems to be moving smoothly.

But then someone walks through the door and hands me a small package wrapped in rough brown paper, tied tightly with feathery twine. Stamped on the top in red ink that has bled around the edges are the words, Handle with Care. What could this be? I wonder, and I gingerly hold it in one hand while I pull at the twine with the other. The knot pulls free and the paper falls open, revealing a puzzle piece—a new one that I haven’t seen before. Its colors are deep and vibrant, making it appear rich as velvet.

I look from this piece to my own puzzle, its colors pale and washed out from years of working. I look to the messenger, still standing over me, gauging my response. I hold the piece out to him. “This isn’t mine.”

“Yes,” he replies simply. “The package has your name on it.”

“I know,” I answer him. “But look at it. It is beautiful and untouched. Its colors are too bold to fit into my puzzle.”

“True, it doesn’t look like it fits. But it’s yours. Perhaps you need to re-examine the work you have done.” With that, he bends and waves his hand over my work, sending the pieces skittering across the floor. He winks, turns, and is gone.

I stare at the piece in my hand, its beauty alluring, pulling me to see the finished whole. I look to the pieces now scattered across the floor. Apart, and framed against the bland white of the tile, they seem to have gained a vibrancy that I’ve previously missed. I feel suddenly energized, and I begin the painstaking process of locating the pieces that might join with the one I am still holding in my hand.


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