Practicing from the Heart in the age of Technology - All articles and poems are by Reza Ghadimi, unless otherwise noted.
Life is an accumulation of memories. Memories of experiences amassed throughout years of work and play. Some, life changing and profound, others, whimsical and fanciful. All said and done, though, often it is the small and minor incidents in life that leave a lasting impression.
Lake Powell is a large man-made lake along the Colorado River, in the hot dry deserts of Southern Utah and Northern Arizona. Rainfall is rare and far between. A few years ago, we rented a houseboat and spent a week exploring and sightseeing the many canyons and gorges, filled with the water of the lake and accessible only by boat. It was late summer and we were expecting a hot trip down the lake. However, we were pleasantly surprised when a rare summer storm gave us cloud cover and a much welcoming rain. The many magnificent waterfalls fed by the downpour, over the precipitous canyon walls, was a treat. The boisterous waters of the lake added to the memories of the day. We have made many trips down that lake in the years, since, yet that summer trip is the one with a lasting impression.
On another occasion, while camping on the shores of the Gulf of California, by the town of Topolobampo, Mexico, during the Christmas Holidays, we were surprised at sunrise on Christmas Day, by a Mexican fishing boat, who precariously approached us on the shallow waters and made us a generous gift of freshly caught shrimp.
"Feliz Navidad," they shouted with a smile. We ate fresh shrimp for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the rest of our stay there.
And a colleague working on an Indian Reservation tells the story of a time, when his patient was an adorable boy of four who was there for a checkup. For the exam, he needed the child to disrobe, which he did but refused to take his shoes off. His mother talked to him in their native tongue but to no avail. She finally informed my colleague that there was a hole in one of his socks and he was embarrassed to show it. My colleague says; I laughed heartily and sheepishly took my own shoe off and showed him a hole in my sock. The child beamed gloriously, and we became good friends to the delight of his mother.
Here is to those junctures of life. We find them in the narrow crevasses and detours, often experienced in places far from annoying crowds and busy practices. Look for them and build lasting Little Great Memories.
Practicing From the Heart in the Age of Technology tells of many occasions where the humane interactions have left undeniable memories, making the practice of medicine joyful and magical.