Last week a water pipe in the apartment above mine froze and then burst.
I came home to find a waterfall bursting through my wall. My ceiling was cracking and dripping water. It was quite the mess.
This is what happens sometimes in harsh winters. Pipes burst.
So what do you do? You get new carpet. You put in new linoleum. You fix the walls. You make sure the person in the apartment above you knows to turn the heat on before temperatures reach -13 F.
And maybe that will be the last time a pipe bursts in your room. Wonderful.
Or maybe the pipes will burst again, and you will have to get new carpet again.
And maybe the pipes will burst yet again, and they will continue bursting, and you will patch the walls and try to stop the water, but it will keep seeping through cracks.
And maybe your ceilings will turn yellow from water stains. And maybe your room will always smell damp. And then that smell will get in your clothes.
And you will wonder if anyone will ever again come inside your room.
And you will wonder if people can smell you, and if they think poorly of you because of the smell.
And you will worry that this breaking and bursting and these harsh winters will leave you alone.
So what do you do? You get new carpet. You put in new linoleum. You fix the walls.
Every time a pipe bursts, you do the same thing. You reinstall. You patch up. You mend.
And this is what we do with our hearts. This is what we do with our minds.
In harsh winters, they break. On the coldest nights, they burst.
So we get help. And we heal. And we put the pieces back together. And if we never break again, we are lucky.
But if we break again, we get help. And we heal. And we put the pieces back together.
And then we might break again.
And we might worry that people will see all the holes inside us. And we might wonder if people will still like us amidst all the wreckage in our lives. We might fear our repeated breaking will cause us to be alone.
So what do we do? We get help. We let people into our flooding hearts. We heal. And we hope.
And even if the rest of our lives are spent patching, plugging leaks, and repairing our walls, we will hope.
We will hope because we know that someday all our pieces will be put back together, and we will not break anymore, and the harshest winter will give way to a glorious summer.