Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Digging Up Holes?


The following is a story found in "Enhance Your Life Experience" By Dr. Joe Strauss. I know that it is a bit long but I am sure that you will enjoy it.

***

The front yard had mysteriously acquired large gaping holes sometime through the night. George Look surveyed the once beautiful lawn with the feeling that one has when they lose a dear friend or relative. It was not just the area between the house and street. This was George's child, his love, it occupied every moment of the confirmed bachelor's early evenings until the sunset, from April 1st until November 30th. He knew the neighbors would be gathering soon. Some would offer condolences. George could not bear the thought of them telling him they knew how he felt. They could not know. They had not spent the hours tenderly caring for their lawns the way he had. None except for Ben Warton. But even Ben's beautiful lawn could not hold a candle to George's. George knew Ben was jealous. There was almost a competitive spirit between them and not a friendly competition at that. Ben would surely gloat over George's misfortune.

The large white truck arrived late in the afternoon. It was very professional looking. Printed on the side in large, black letters were the words:

DR. JOHN B. PITFALL
LAWN PHYSICIAN

A tall, thin, distinguished gentleman stepped out of the truck. He had on a crisp, white coat and a large mop of snowy white hair to match. His face was tanned and confident. A faint glimmer of hope welled up in George's heart. This man was the best Lawn Physician in the entire Eastern United States. George had felt honored when Dr. Pitfall had agreed to take on his case.

"Thank you for coming, Doctor." George tried to sound calm, despite the fact that his heart was beating madly.

"I don't usually take cases this far from my office, Mr. Look, but your case intrigues me. When did you first notice this problem?"

"Just this morning, doctor. The lawn was fine
yesterday."

"Ever have a similar problem?"

"No, never."

"How about your lawn's general health?"

George took pride in his healthy lawn. But he realized this was not a time for bragging. He racked his brain for any indication of what could have caused this problem. After careful thought he responded, "Other than chinch bugs two years ago and some occasional brown spots in late July, the lawn has been fine."

The doctor stroked his smooth chin and scanned the homes up and down the street. "Any of your neighbors have this type of problem?"

"Okay, Mr. Look, we're going to be doing a few tests. Why don't you go in the house. My assistants will be along shortly and we'll be bringing some heavy equipment in. Out here you'll just be in the way."

George dutifully obeyed the doctor. Once in the house he drew open the drapes at the picture window, pulled over the easy chair, and sat down to watch. What he saw was impressive. The lawn physician and his assistants went to work with the skill of a finely?trained team. They took pictures of all the holes, every one of them, from every conceivable angle. George noticed the doctor talking to one of his assistants, a big burly fellow. The man nodded as if concurring with Dr. Pitfall's observation and then drove off in the truck. Thirty minutes later he returned with what appeared to be a large measuring device. He went to each hole, measuring the depth and the width and noting the slope of each one. A nurse followed him around making notations on a clipboard. George could not hear what they were saying through the thick windowpanes but the serious looks on their faces were anything but encouraging. The activities went on for the better part of two hours. George was impressed by their workman?like attitude but at the same time somewhat annoyed at their apparent detachment. Didn't they realize this was his one and only front yard?

It was getting on toward dark. George had not left the picture window since the examination began. Finally Dr. Pitfall, aware of George observing them, motioned for him to come out.

"We would like to do a few more tests tomorrow Mr. Look and I have a colleague I would like to call in on consultation. He'll be here tomorrow also. We should have some news for you the day after."

"What do you think it is, doctor?"

"I'd really not like to venture a guess until all the tests are done and the results are calculated. We have to go back to the office now and run a lot of these figures through our computers. We'll see you in the morning." With that, they all climbed into their trucks. Neither the trucks nor the doctors and nurses looked quite as white and crisp as they had earlier in the day. George was left standing among the holes in his yard as they drove off in the direction of the setting summer sun.

They returned the next day as promised and worked from early morning until almost sunset. Then left without a word. They returned the following day. There were more tests, more pictures. Each time there was one or more new faces. All bad the same white coat, same tan, same serious expression. On the fourth day they did not return. Midway through the morning George received a phone call from Dr. Pitfall's office. The doctor would be coming to speak with George.

Shortly after noon he arrived.

"Sit down. Mr. Look."

George dreaded those words. Whenever a doctor on television tells someone to sit down, it's always bad news.

"George, I'm going to be honest with you. This is by far the worst case of holes in the lawn that I or any of my colleagues have ever seen. To be perfectly frank, it doesn't look good."

George had been sitting on the edge of his easy chair, the one he had spent the better part of the last four days in. He slumped back and spoke, his voice faltering, "what can be done, doctor?"

The doctor walked over to the window and gazed out upon the lawn as if to give it one further examination before pronouncing its fate. "The only hope is," he paused for what seemed an eternity to George, "major surgery. I'm afraid George, unless we dig up those holes, your lawn hasn't a chance."

George sat up straight. "You mean you're going to remove the holes?"

"That's right."

"But doctor, how can you remove a hole? I mean," George stammered trying to find the right words. His mind was spinning. "I mean, how can you dig up a hole?"

The doctor gave George a condescending smile. It irritated George. "Oh, we have a fine instrument. We can be in and out of here in one morning. It can remove every hole, take it right out. I have to admit it is a rather untried procedure, but frankly George, I see no other hope."

George rubbed his temples with his fingertips. "I just don't know."

"Look George, if you would like a second or third opinion I could give you the names..."

"No, doctor, I'm sure you're right. It just doesn't seem... I just can't believe... it doesn't seem possible that digging up the holes is the answer." George got up and walked over to the picture window. He stared at his lawn remembering the lush green carpet that he had mown only a week ago. He turned sharply, looked the doctor in the eye and said, "when can you do the operation?"

"We will be here Monday morning."

George rarely ever opened the drapes of the front picture window. When leaving his house, and he only left to go to work or the store, he avoided looking at the front yard. It had been almost a month since the operation. Even before the big machinery began tearing into the soft, rich, dark earth George had this gnawing feeling that it wouldn't work. Dr. Pitfall had tried to cheer him up by saying they were able to reduce the number of holes to only a few large ones. The neighbors' condolence cards were appreciated. Except for Ben Warton's. Suggesting that George put a large hedge around his front yard was in poor taste. There was one card, from Mrs. Deery up the street. She had suggested that George try a Lawn Restorer. As the sight of the lawn became more painful, George gave more thought to her suggestion. Finally one morning he called Dr. Thomas Cause, Lawn Restorer. The doctor arrived in a small pickup. It was not white. He did not wear white and there were no assistants with him. He was, however, a friendly, soft-spoken, kindly fellow. He seemed genuinely concerned over George's plight. George began to relate the lawn's history to Dr. Cause but the doctor stopped him.

"Mr. Look, I know you've been through a good deal with your problem and you obviously have had some experts looking at your lawn. I don't pretend to be able to do something they could not do." George face dropped. The doctor was smiling. "However, Mr. Look, I believe I have something I can do for your lawn that will benefit it."

"You mean you can cure holes in the lawn?"

"No, I didn't say that. As a matter of fact I cannot cure any problem. But what I can do is restore dirt and frankly, Mr. Look, whatever condition your lawn has or doesn't have, it would be better off with a full complement of dirt. You see, a Lawn Restorer is really a dirt replacer." He went on to explain a little more about his philosophy. It made sense to George. After they had talked awhile longer George walked over to his lawn and looked into one of the large holes.

"Don't you want to see the pictures or read the Lawn Physician's reports?"

"It's not really necessary to my procedure, Mr. Look. We are not really doing the same thing. He's removing holes, I'm replacing dirt."

George laughed aloud. "Well, I've gone the hole removal route and look what it's gotten me." He pointed to the gaping holes. "I guess I've got nothing to lose by trying... what did you call it?"

"Dirt replacement, Mr. Look."

"When can you begin?"

"I'll be here tomorrow with a truckload."
George thought for a minute, still not convinced he was doing the right thing. "But how will you know how much dirt my lawn needs without all the tests or at least looking at the Lawn Physician's report?"

"Good question, Mr. Look. I'll be in with a truckload tomorrow and begin to fill the holes. I'll just keep bringing truckloads until they are filled. It's really a very simple concept and procedure. When the holes are filled, my job is done."

The next day Dr. Cause returned, this time with a large truck full of dirt. He began to back it up toward the closest and largest hole. George raced out the front door.

"Hold it, doctor," he shouted over the roar of the truck engine. "Can I talk to you for a minute?"

The Lawn Restorer climbed out of the truck cab and the two of them walked a distance from the idling truck engine.

"What seems to be the problem, Mr. Look?"

George was somewhat embarrassed. "Can I be frank with you Dr. Cause?"

"But of course, please do. If there is anything you don't understand or want explained further, I would be very happy..."

"It's not that, it's just, well you see, I met this Lawn Therapist yesterday in the garden shop. He was buying a truckload of fertilizer and we got to talking. He called himself a Lawn Therapist Physician. He said I should have some tests done, that maybe my problem was a nutritional deficiency in the lawn. He also thought it might be six foot tall gophers. He said he would do those tests and sort of hinted that you should also."

"Let's sit down over here, Mr. Look. Remember I explained to you that I am not a physician?"

"Yes."

"I do one thing only. I fill holes with dirt. Your lawn needs dirt. Whatever else it needs, it needs dirt. You must understand Mr. Look; I only am a 'dirt replacer.' You or someone else will have to take the responsibility for seeding, feeding, cutting, raking, watering and maintaining your lawn. I personally feel you are the person most qualified to do those things. However, sometimes you may need professional help. If you have six-foot tall gophers, you may need a Lawn Exterminator. I am not trained or equipped to deal with gophers. Perhaps vandalism is your problem. I cannot sit here all night and protect your lawn. Do you see what I'm saying, Mr. Look? Your lawn has many needs. Under most circumstances you are the most qualified to meet those needs. From what I've seen of the other parts of your lawn, you do a fine job of taking care of it."

George felt his face flush with embarrassment. The Lawn Restorer continued, "But whatever your lawn needs and no matter who supplies those needs, one thing is for sure, it has no chance of being healthy and beautiful without a full complement of dirt. That is what I do."

"Dr. Cause, I'd like to have my dirt restored. Let's get to it!"

"Okay Mr. Look."

George stood back and watched the Lawn Restorer at work. His philosophy was different. His procedure was not orthodox lawn medicine. He didn't act like a lawn physician. But even as these thoughts raced through George's mind, he noticed that his holes were disappearing. With every truckload his lawn was returning. The "dirt restoration" was working.

Six weeks to the day after meeting the Lawn Restorer, George Look stood in front of his picture window. His lawn had returned to normal. Periodically Dr. Cause would come by and spread a little dirt here and there when needed. Other than that, there were no problems. George was a happy man. The neighbors were amazed. They marveled at the difference in George's lawn and told him so. It was once again the most beautiful lawn in the neighborhood.

***

Of course, it seems rather absurd to view a hole as an "entity", something that has material existence and can be removed. Any rational person realizes that a hole is merely an absence of dirt. You can only create it by removing the dirt and you can only correct it by restoring dirt. But our health is no different. Disease is like holes - it is the absence of health. Disease only occurs when health has been lost. Trying to remove disease is like trying to remove a hole. We need to begin to view health as the entity and disease as the non-entity, the absence of health.

Your Upper Cervical doctor views health as the entity, as that which needs to be restored in order to fill the void that we call disease.

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