In J.A.YE. VOLUME I Issue 3, I talk about how our nerves and hormones get a bad rap. I failed to mention that our poor skeleton could be a member of that crew as well.
We are steeped in a culture that associates the image of a skeleton with death or evil— you know, Halloween, poison signs, pirate flags and such. This is not to say that it is an inappropriate symbol. After all, in the final stages of human decomposition, the skeleton is all that remains of the… uh… remains… so to speak. This being true doesn’t take away from the fact that the skeleton is very much alive and well. The skeletal system provides the framework that supports the body (if it were not for our bones, we would resort to being ooey gooey organisms who could star in horror films like The Blob). It gives leverage for movement, protects vital organs, stores essential elements like calcium and produces blood cells. It’s this last skeletal function on which I’d like to focus this meditation.
The ultimate source of all our blood cells is bone marrow— the soft, flexible tissue found in the hollow, interior of the bones in our skeletal system. There are different types of blood cells produced in our bone marrow including white blood cells, also known as immune cells. Despite this fact, most people don’t associate the immune system with their bones. It’s only been in the recent past with the heavy advertisement of Vitamin D as a vitamin promoted for the health of bones AND the immune system that the link between these two systems has become common knowledge.
When we usually think of our immune systems it’s after they’ve already been compromised. We feel a cold coming on and we say our “immune system must be down.” Then our idea of strengthening our immunity is popping Echinacea capsules and chasing them down with a gallon of orange juice for Vitamin C. Of course there are times when we are proactive and use similar regimens to prevent getting sick altogether. This is good, but there might be an even better formula. I would like to submit that Divine Wisdom, for a long time, has been telling us our health is found in our bones. We are given this spiritual remedy for our ailments in the Bible’s Book of Proverbs 17:22— it’s called Joy or as I like to say “Vitamin J.”
So take some “Vitamin J” and remind your skeletal system of the joy of being alive the next time you think of your bones as cracking and your joints as stiffening or you see a young person sporting a skull as fashionable wardrobe. Remember what the loved one knows who is celebrating Día de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead) and styling with calacas (decorative images of the skeleton) — our skeletal system is a gift of life deserving of a joyful party! And of course meditate on this:
“Joy is the health of the body, but sadness dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22