When I was in high school, my nickname was Pengwen. Although I adore penguins and would like to be one, I think my personality is more akin to a squirrel’s. Like those fast, furry creatures of our yards, I am often alert and neurotic, scurrying about getting things done. There’s also a big part of me that can be very silly.
I was a bit squirrelly about last weekend’s “pop-in” visit with my family in Ohio. There was plenty for me to fret over: flight delays and weather conditions, what are we to eat in an airport that will be halfway healthy, will there be drama, and at whose home will we sleeping? Each item piled onto the other…and then we saw the children.
First of all, two-month-old Rose Mackenzie is just beautiful like a doll-baby and sweetly quiet except when she’s pooped to her heart’s content and wants to be changed. Four-year-old Dave, eager for attention from anyone and everyone, talked nonstop of his favorite comic book heroes. I couldn’t tell if his favorite was Spiderman or Wolverine. The toddler, Zeke, happy to be running around and getting into things, was a constant source of amusement. To top things off, Jason wiggled on Dave’s Batman mask and I nearly died laughing.
Life is ever changing, in nature and in our own (seemingly monumental) environments. But we wish we could play it safe. We only want things to change within our rules and with our permission. When will I really learn that control is merely an illusion? There are unknowns and uncertainties and these pesky things are always in our way.
Unless we go on a walk. And we let things happen. We see what will happen if we pay close attention to a pile of rocks, or follow duck poo, or laugh just being the wind feels good on our skin. That’s what I learned from my mom when she and I took my nephews on a walk around their housing development. And just before we were about to head back to the house, because I am always afraid of being late—just once I should allow myself to not be on time—we went a little further and found the ducks and a Canadian goose. I was happy. Zeke, Dave, Mom, and I all waved to swimming creatures (who look as if they haven’t a care in the world, but of course, they must) and our adventure was complete.
It was perfect and reminded me to take it easy, on myself and on my world. Life is not meant to be controlled, but to be enjoyed. So, when our flight got delayed and then transferred, I didn’t stress. I opened up my book, Ellen Foster, and read for a couple of hours. Enjoying the down time that Delta Airlines had given me.