During the cold, dark, short days of winter the puzzles come out, it’s how I avoid the temptation to slip into sleep before 7 o’clock every night because it’s been dark for hours already. The title of the latest winter puzzle is “The Games We Play”, and it’s full of nostalgia as I have always loved board games. This however is not a particularly cozy, happy post.
As I searched for the spinner to High Ho Cheerio, I was listening to the television when a story about the White Helmets of Syria came on. These are volunteers who dig out survivors after a brutal bombing has occurred. They look for legs or fingers or any other visible body part and begin to frantically dig away at the rubble with bare hands, and time is of the essence to save victims from suffocation. My Hi Ho Cheerio search became irrelevant as I watched the images come across the screen of the horror that is Aleppo. I have no reference of suffering at that level and felt overwhelmed to be sitting in a safe and warm home lit softly by Christmas lights, with plenty of food, clean water and my family.
It is always a worthwhile exercise to connect with the suffering of others, it keeps our humanity in check. Life often hangs by a fragile thread and while I cannot change the reality of those living in Aleppo, I CAN be mindful of the energy I put out in to the world.
Today was my test. It was just ONE OF THOSE DAYS.
The kicker was dropping off a mass mailing of report cards (mass mailings tend to provoke tension from the onset), only to have the postal lady call as I was three blocks away that I needed to return because all the envelopes were 20 to 40 cents short on postage. If there hadn’t been half the population of the county waiting in line when I returned I might have had a memorable moment in the post office. I return to the school, reweigh the envelopes (which the majority were under the 1 ounce limit…thank you very much) and headed home. My sons friends were listening to their music that tends to set my teeth on edge and sitting at the puzzle. I looked at their impressive progress and said, “Whatever you do, DO NOT FINISH THE PUZZLE, that is the best part!” Realizing I need to get a grip I retreated to a quiet room.
I remind myself that my “bad” day is nothing, nothing other than an inconvenience. So I say a small simple prayer for those who are fighting … for Aleppo, for cancer, for loneliness and homelessness, and hunger … I make my family a delicious vegetable red curry and I feel so, so terribly blessed.
Peace and Love,