When You Can’t Run, You Crawl

October 23, 2016 § Leave a comment

Summer refuses to go gently into that good night. We’re well into October now, and the mercury keeps climbing into the upper 60s, 70s, and even the 80s. And then plummets, as Fall rallies, only to be routed again by another surprise attack from my favorite season.

Today was sunny, warm, and beautiful, and yet I couldn’t lift my eyes from my shoes long enough to appreciate it. I have stones on these shoulders, and just about the time I get used to the weight, another one gets added. Just this week, a boulder dropped on top of the other rocks already sitting there. So I’m sagging a bit.

I just went up on the roof to clean the gutters and took a few minutes to think and watch the sun nestle down behind the horizon. I took stock of what’s wrong and what’s right, what’s good and bad in my life.

There’s a lot going wrong in my life. There’s also a lot going right to prop me up when the stones push me down. When a new weight drops on the wrong side, the stanchions bend and slip. This week really tested them.

But up on the roof, with the world going dark and silent around me, I did find some perspective. Unfortunately, what’s going on around me is reality, and it isn’t going to change. I want the rocks and boulders to fall off or be lifted away, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

All I can do is lean into the supports—my wife, my family, my friends, and the too-brief moments of joy they bring into my life. And remember to thank them, and try to bring joy to them when they need it. Try not to be a rock on their shoulders, but rather a support for them, even if it’s a weak one. Toothpicks can support bowling balls, if you have enough of them.

There’s a quote from my favorite television show, Firefly. It’s kind of cheesy, but it contains a good sentiment:

When you can’t run, you crawl. And when you can’t crawl, you find someone to carry you.

Find someone to carry you. Lean into your supports. We’ll all get through this together.

“Stack on Balance” (Sculpture and photo by Peter Juhl)



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