We rode our bikes into town the other day and ended up with two flat tires. So I pulled the wheels, found the leaks, and patched them. When I came back to them in an hour, they were both flat again. Pretty frustrating. And I had used my last two tire patches. But I started investigating a little more, and noticed a leak in a valve stem, which I discovered could be removed or tightened. Tightening fixed that leak. Then, after a little research, I made a patch using a piece of old tube and glued it in place with Shoe Goo (great stuff). That seems to have worked too. So I came out of it having learned something useful, and with a new, inexpensive solution for future flats.

Not so significant, I suppose. But it did seem like a simple illustration about how having to struggle through problems can leave us with deeper understanding, and ultimately better off, than before. When I think about our recent struggles to have a child, or with the retreats, they seem similar. I've learned a lot, I think, about loss and failure, the value of trying (vs. accomplishment), and sorted through my desires about parenting. And I do believe these struggles will make us better parents and retreat hosts, and people.