“Sign here, please.” – Words that strike fear into hearts every minute of every day.
“Sign here, please.” – What do these words imply?
They imply agreement, sacrifice, and worst of all – commitment.
When I think of blank terror, I always remember the scene in Disney’s The Little Mermaid where Ariel is so desperate to become human that she signs away her voice in exchange for a chance to meet Prince Eric.
Everything in her body language says, “I really don’t want to do this,” but, if you’ve seen the movie, you know in her heart she felt like she HAD to sign it.
The task of keeping families masked has become one more chore we must consider before heading out the door each day. It is a task that we are using to protect lives from the perils of the Corona virus pandemic. It is a responsibility that now presses on us in our homes and adds to our laundry list of ways life has change in the shadow of COVID 19.
My washdays are definitely not holidays as I wrestle with washing masks in a special bag and drying them on the special rack because the face coverings require special care.
While I know it is a method for warding away COVID 19, I can’t help but groan at the daily dilemma of washing, finding, and coaxing my children and husband to wear the required face-coverings.
The masks’ appearance defined our first day of school photos. Never before did I view my children as bandits heading off to steal the treasures of their unsuspecting teachers. (Now I can’t un-see it.)
Each night the masks have joined our bedtime ritual in on the “Do you know where your ________ is?” fun.
My Sunday evening anxiety seems to flare up midweek as I scramble to re-locate and wash the masks my kids will actually wear so as to make it through the week in their concealed coolness.
Yes, it was only by one point, but we had beaten them.
With the first whistle blown and the tip off tapped in our direction, the game felt like nothing but ours to win.
As the first few shots bounced out and dully rolled off the side of the rim, we struggled to ride the wave of adrenaline. If we just kept shooting, passing, rebounding, we were certain to make a basket sooner or later.
It’s only when we fail to stand our ground that we cave.
Only when we fail to be true to ourselves, we cave.
When we fail to be honest, we cave.
We fail to believe; we cave.
Fail only when we cave.
The times when I have felt least successful are those when I felt I caved to insecurity or scrutiny of others. It was in allowing the foundation of what I knew was right to crumble. I let my emotions cascade in an avalanche of uncertainty around me. I caved.
One instance from junior high, where I personally caved, still haunts me.
In 6th grade, recess changed the social dynamic for everyone at my school. The 6th grade girls were assigned the parking lot between church and our grade school along with the 7th and 8th grade girls for recess. There were no soccer goals, basketball hoops, or kickball fields in this lot. As someone who always loved sports and being active, this move was not an exciting one for me. The other girls seemed perfectly happy to sit on the steps next to church and clump in tightly knit circles gossiping away our precious free time. Recess was not much fun as far as I was concerned, but I made the most of it floating from group to group, checking to see what the topic of conversation might be, or if there was a chance of athletic ambition from anyone.
One day I ran to talk to one of the 8th graders, who played basketball on the school team with me. She was talking to two others girls and I was excited to see if they wanted to talk basketball.
As soon as I entered their circle, one girl took me by the arm and turned me around. “You are like a wart. We want to burn you out of here,” she said and pushed me in the opposite direction of their conversation. Continue reading “Cave”→
It was a peculiar evening. Rarely did she find herself outdoors after dusk, but there she was standing alone. Alone, but for the moon and the sounds that night brings.
The glow of the Moon seemed to be magnetic and the stillness that it attracted surrounded her. Enveloped in its beams, her tired mind seemed content to just soak in its milky gleam. There was something comforting about the slowness of its ascent and the darkness that accompanied.
Without realizing it, she found herself treading across the cool blades of grass. There was an intense need to follow the pale path as it radiated across the smooth, damp blades. Not sure where she was headed, the trail of light shined with reassurance that this was where she needed to go.
The only sounds that could be heard were those of her soft steps on the foliage and an occasional breeze. None of these sounds could disturb the tranquility within her.
Once deep in the woods the terrain grew steeper and at the highest point a clearing was revealed. Here the moon shone so brightly she felt that it was within her reach to touch the brilliant orb.
After a few moments of unhampered silence, a voice came to her.
“You have asked for peace, quiet, and freedom. I have come to give you these.”
With a slight shake of her head, she replied, “Who are you? Where are you?”
The voice spoke with a slow, confident drawl. “Is it not easy to see? Am I not shining right before you? Late each night as your little one fails to sleep or worry races through your mind I hear you ask for stillness, freedom, simplicity.”