Carrying Our Wounds

Some months back, my wife Beth and I saw a large snail in our front garden. It had a beautiful shell. Beth named the snail “Hefer,” after the name of the lane in which we live.

Not long afterward, coming home after dark, I felt something hard beneath my right foot as I came up the front steps. It was Hefer. I had not placed my weight down entirely; nevertheless, I cracked Hefer’s shell. A large piece had broken and fallen off. I placed Hefer and the portion of broken shell up on a tile wall. I was upset at what I had done, even though, of course, it was an accident.

Beth, ever the rational one, looked up snails on the internet to see if there was something we could do. She found out that, over time, they can–depending on the seriousness of their injury–heal. I am sharing a picture of Hefer taken yesterday, slowly climbing up our front wall.

You can see Hefer’s wound. But Hefer is living. The injury goes where Hefer goes, of course, as our wounds go with us. But that doesn’t stop Hefer. I find that encouraging, kind of inspirational.

All the best!

Author: Gershon Ben-Avraham

Gershon Ben-Avraham is an American-Israeli writer. He lives in Beersheba, Israel, on the edge of the Negev Desert. He and his wife share their lives with a gentle blue-merle long-haired collie. Ben-Avraham earned an MA in Philosophy (Aesthetics) from Temple University. His short story, “Yoineh Bodek,” (Image) received “Special Mention” in the Pushcart Prize XLlV: Best of the Small Presses 2020 Edition. Kelsay Books published his chapbook “God’s Memory” in 2021. חב"ד‎

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