I met Larry tonight as I was finishing my run. He was hobbled over his cane in the same place I saw him the day before. I stopped to talk to him, and asked him if he was hungry. Finding that he was, I went and bought him a sandwich and a coke. When I came back, we sat and talked for awhile as I drew him. He told me demonstratively that hoping for peace was futile. I said, “I can’t believe that we are beyond reconcile”, to which he replied, “This world is beyond repair.” I felt so sad; my friend here has lost hope. What is left after hope has gone? Selfishness to the end, and finally an implosion. Perhaps he is right, our world seem bent on self-destruction.

Today I went swimming with my 4 year-old niece. She was scared of the water, and more than a couple of times gulped down a lungs worth of water; an understandable and quite rational fear. We played with some water noodles, and began a game where she swam to me with the noodle under her arms. The distance became greater and greater, but eventually her trust in herself and the process came to the tipping point. She procrastinated and danced around inventing all kinds of reasons not to go for it, not to try. Some of the fabrications and constructs were actually quite funny, but all of them were complex. Finally, instead of talking to her as her uncle and laughing, I spoke to her fear directly. I said:

“I know it is scary to try something that doesn’t seem like it should work. You are right to wonder if you are at risk, you have had experiences where you have questioned your safety. But, even today, I’ve always been there for you, and always will be. But, now I am asking you to trust me, and take the chance. Push off the ledge, relax, breathe, and I will be there for you. It is a leap of faith.”

Immediately after I said these words, I thought of my own “leap”. Are the words any less true now that I am an adult? So go ahead…leap.

Advertisements