I am not sure where this post is going, but here I go stepping off the cliff in my own mind.
Human beings are fools.. honestly, we are. We dominate this gem of a planet and complain about everything under the sun. Even our life giving sun.
For much of the western world, the Christmas season is rapidly approaching. It is supposed to be a season of love and giving. Instead for many it is a season of greed and frustration. I am not saying anything new to many of you. Many folks say that it has always been this way and always will be this way.
So do I have a point?
Well, give me a moment to work on it. As I type I am recovering from an emotional hangover. I spent last night crying after a fight with a loved one. Two dear friends listened to me and mentally tucked me in when I finally fell asleep. I may have been sleeping alone physically; mentally, however, I was being held in the arms of two angels.
This morning, I got up, treated my brain splitting headache and went to work. My feet shuffled through the house like the condemned. My face painted so that no one would see its stunning impression of a human raccoon. The kids were cool and did what I asked of them. They have a way of knowing when not to push my buttons. Especially, I confess second period is one of my favorite classes. They walked in and we all started writing in our journals. The timer went off and we all just sighed, too tired to notice that it had been in unison. Five students and one teacher letting frustration leave their bodies at the same time.
We could have pushed through the planned lesson, but no learning was going to take place. So we played a game and relearned how healing laughter is. One of the girls slipped her journal on my desk, the signal that she wanted it read.
Why is my life so horrible was the gist of the first line. She went on to tell me that her mother whom she was praying to be reunited with was arrested. She doesn’t know what is going on or why her mother was arrested. All she knows is that once again life has thrown her a sucker punch and it landed right on her already broken heart.
I wrote her back, as I always do when they ask me to read. And while I was, I didn’t worry about all the little things that were weighing my shoulders down, I was in the moment, because she needed me to listen and demonstrate that I heard her and cared. Both of us were smiling when I handled her back the journal.
At lunch I ran out to find food and decided that the golden arches was my best option. Running thru the drive-through, a women stepped forward and asked if I could spare some change. Her voice sounded like that of an old friend, rich and warm. I gave her the last two dollars in my wallet.
Today, I felt doomed and trapped when I woke up, and then I was given a gift. It is the same gift that is placed by each of our bedsides every night. The chance to make my day a good one. I still feel a little like I have been run over by a freight train, however, the universe has seen to it that there are some bandages holding me together until I mend.
There is so much I could complain about. So much that many consider wrong in my world. There is however a soft breeze threading its way through a cracked window giving me relief from the endless Florida heat, a puppy wrapped around me softly breathing and the man who made me cry last night is also the man who walked me up the street to get a slice of gluten free chocolate cake. I don’t need any gifts for Christmas, there is no need to trample some poor soul to obtain the latest shiny bobble; the simile on my face comes from knowing I am loved and living in the present.
I can’t fix the world, though I believe that people can make a difference when they try. No, stepping off the cliff of my mind tonight has reminded me that we are all on the fool’s journey. All stepping off the cliffs in our mind again and again, many times not even realizing it; working our way through the world hoping things will change. Forgetting that the definition of failure is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
The day didn’t get better because something changed the normal course, it got better because I transformed myself and let things happen naturally, in metaphysical terms, I stopped trying to be the pebble and became the water. Moving with the course of my life and discovering things were going the right way, after all, forward. The wrong turn after school lead to a new route to my favorite teaching store. The wrong turn in a relationship lead to a new understanding.
I guess my point is that while we are all fools, we can have a choice to complain about all we have to do in the coming season, all the woes big and small or we can let ourselves be in the present with open eyes and give ourselves to the world like the man who gave his name to the season did. Let’s not fight over the true meaning of the season. So what if I tend a Yule fire, you decorate a Christmas tree and the family across the street lights a menorah and there won’t be as many presents as last year because Papi was laid off, we still have right now to be present with those we love or hope to love.
We have to stop trying to keeping up with the Jones, whose house by the way really isn’t that nice on the inside, and learn to be ourselves. When I sit down for Christmas dinner with my Momma two days after the actual holiday, I am going to love biting into my Sloppy Joe, not regretting for a moment that there won’t be a turkey and dressing. All I need will be there.