A Cane Without An Owner

In Dickens’ classic story, A Christmas Carol, Scrooge asks the Ghost of Christmas Present about Tiny Tim’s future. “I see a crutch without an owner”, was the grim reply, indicating young Tim would succumb to his crippling illness if things did not change.

I have a cane parked in a corner of my bedroom. Yesterday, as I tidied up my room, I paused to pick up the cane, feeling its weight and running a hand over the smooth wooden surface.

A Cane Without An Owner

When my left leg began to deteriorate in 2015, after years of chronic sciatica and pain, I had to resort to using a cane. It didn’t just aid my walking. I also used the cane when I sat, to support my extended leg. If my knee was bent for long, the joint locked up, requiring half an hour or longer to straighten it.

When my right leg began deteriorating too, I didn’t know what to do. The medical community had given up on me a long time ago. I asked God for help. The next day I read a post by Anthony William, known as the Medical Medium, about how trauma, such as a car accident, can result in an injury that does not heal. My life shifted that day. I found hope and information for healing.

A Cane Without An Owner

My Halloween costume in October 2015. I was a tourist. The cane was a necessity, not a prop.

One week after adopting a plant based lifestyle and following what is called Medical Medium or MM Protocol, I stopped using the cane. I kept going with this new way of living and never looked back, healing the severe sciatica and ending the pain I had lived with for more than 20 years.

I’ve kept the cane as a reminder of the woman I used to be, the one who struggled with pain and poor health. That woman no longer exists, so in that sense, the cane is truly without an owner. I am grateful for healing and the journey that continues.

I also keep the cane nearby because it was made many years ago by Grandpa Moore. He carved the cane from a piece of a Dogwood Tree. Holding the cane yesterday, I wondered about the significance of that. I discovered that Dogwoods are strong, even though their branches twist. The tree symbolizes stability and determination. And because it blooms in the spring, it represents rebirth and new beginnings. Isn’t that amazing? I wish I could ask Grandpa Moore if he knew any of that when he selected this piece of wood.

A Cane Without An Owner

I no longer need the cane, which was once my crutch. When I look at it now I feel gratitude for the stability it offered when walking was difficult for me and for the determination it infused me with to keep going, to never give up.

I feel deep joy for the new beginning that I have had. My life has changed drastically since the day I cried out for help. And I feel such compassion for those who are where I was a short time ago. To those who are suffering poor health or are in pain, I offer hope. And I offer the energy of the Dogwood Tree.

A Cane Without An Owner

Surrender 104: Missouri’s Tree

As I was driving this afternoon, savoring the warmth and spring sunshine, I couldn’t help but notice the liberal sprinkling of flowering trees in the countryside. The Flowering Dogwood, with its showy white or pink blossoms, is Missouri’s state tree. And rightly so. The tree’s flowers appear this time of year, lagging a bit behind other common flowering trees, such as the redbud or Bradford pear. 


The trees are easily spotted, growing wild in the woods. Our trees are just beginning to leaf out and the Dogwoods, dressed in white, stand out among the soft greens of the other trees’ new leaves. 

The Flowering Dogwood became Missouri’s official state tree in 1955. The tree’s wood is valued for making loom shuttles, arrows, tool handles, and other small items that require a very hard, strong wood.

Many people enjoy having this decorative tree in their yards. Driving around Joplin today I spotted gorgeous Dogwoods in neighborhoods and parks. I stopped to take a picture of the beautiful specimen above, planted on the Missouri Southern State University campus. 

Pink Dogwoods are common in town, but rarely seen in the surrounding woods. Occasionally I’ll see a tree that has both white and pink blooms on it. 


It brought joy to my heart this afternoon, seeing the Dogwoods in bloom. When the woods are dotted with white blossoms, I know we truly have left winter behind. For me, they symbolize rebirth and new life and perseverance. 

And I have a personal connection to this tree. The cane that I used, during a recent sciatica flare up, is carved from a Dogwood tree. It served as support when I needed it and I came to appreciate the smooth, aged wood, for its assistance and its simple beauty. 

Kahlil Gibran said, “Life without love is like a tree without blossoms or fruit.” I’m grateful to have both in my life…love, and trees with blossoms, the beautiful Missouri state tree, the Flowering Dogwood.