Wednesday, September 25, 2013

We move lightly

A prayerful response to Abby of the Arts blog and Dustin O'Halloran's 'We move lightly'

Waking, opening to the light that heals, clarifies and removes the fog.
That cloud of worry, weight, and fear flakes off like dry skin.
What remains is a heart, a little more open, a mind a little less fuzzy and an openness to breathe a bit freer.

Why do I wander like I'm in a desert when Your Oasis is always within reach?

T.L. Eastman/ September 2013

When Aggie-dog goes "boom"!

I have a toddler friend named Sailor who spends a good amount of time at my home on a regular basis. She has gotten the hang of navigating our wandering back steps with a little hand-holding help, she has no problem cuddling up on the sofa for nap time, and enjoys pointing at our 40-pound-beagle-cattle-dog and shouting with glee, "Aggie-Dog!".

Sometimes we set up a gate to keep her in a play space of the living room and that usually works out just fine; but yesterday "Aggie-dog" decided to mix up the afternoon activity just for kicks.

Sailor was happily playing with her baby, "Beba" when I came home and let Aggie-dog out for a bathroom break and dinner. Aggie was so happy that she began running and jumping throughout the downstairs. She was even so clever to effortlessly leap over the living room gate like a hurdle in a race. As the dog was leaping from side to side, Sailor would laugh uncontrollably and shout "Aggie-Dog", louder and louder!

Just as Aggie looked to be tired from her exercise, Sailor yelled in toddler speak, "Come here now!" - and Aggie was happy to oblige. Aggie ran full speed towards the gate as Sailor watched wide eyed and in a flash went from being a standing observer to laying on her back as Aggie, accidentally clipped her with her paw mid-launch over the gate. Thankfully, there were no tears or significant injuries. Sailor had a small red mark on her brow where she and the dog had made contact - but what was significant was the look of shock on her dimpled face. 

She had called to the dog. The dog understood her request. Then upon their unexpected impact - what was up, was abruptly down. She took a moment to get her bearings and then took my daughter's hand to stand back up. Once we knew all was ok, I asked Sailor if she and Aggie had collided and went "Boom!". She replied as clear as day and with great volume and expression, "Aggie-dog Boom!"

Aggie-the-40-pound-beagle-cattle-dog "boom", indeed.

Once we all recovered from the little drama,we kept thinking back to that moment of impact - which once was a moment of worry - and began to chuckle remembering Sailor's quick pop back to standing and shouting, "Aggie-dog boom!".

Life can give us unexpected "booms". Sometimes we have to work through the impact and other times we pop back up, brush ourselves off, and laugh at the physical (spiritual, emotional) comedy of it all.

Little Miss Sailor took me to school the other day. She reminded me to:
1. Enjoy the moments of delight and joy (hurdle leaping Aggie) without reserve.
2. When the "boom" happens, don't be afraid to stand back up.
3. Be willing to accept a hand up.
3. Be willing to share the "booms" of life with others.
4. Remember to laugh.

Psalm 46: 1-3 says:

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present[a] help in trouble.Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam,though the mountains tremble with its tumult."

Aggie found strength to leap that gate in the encouragement of a toddler. The toddler found a human hand willing to lift her up and a canine to lick her face in the aftermath of an unexpected impact. I experienced excitement, concern and thankful laughter as a result of this sudden "shaking" moment.

Even when we don't realize it, God is with us in the shaking and "boom" moments of life. We don't always get by without a scratch, but even in the worst moments it's important to recall God's ongoing, loving and forgiving presence. 

In the shaking, in the leaping, in the bumps, in the falls, in the laughter, in the worry, in the standing back up, in the reaching for a hand - remember that God is present, no matter what "Booms" bound our way.