Happy March to everyone. It was warm for a day or two and now it is back to cloudy and cool. Well, cold actually, but isn’t that the reality of late February and early March? We get a few days of sun and the trees begin to bud and open. Our peach trees are sprouting a few pink blooms as well as the cherry trees. While I enjoy the blooms immensely, I fear that March will sweep in some cold weather and the blooms will be blown off completely or the cold will come in and snatch the life right out of them.
Our college age teen swept into the house last week in shorts and skimpy tee. She was exuberant with the warmth of the day. I did try to warn her that it would get cold again and to keep her jackets close by. We all enjoyed the day and even opened a window or two.
Two nights later, reality struck, and we nearly froze because of the forgotten windows. Now, we are back in our heavier winter clothes and jackets with all windows firmly closed and the heaters back on. In a few days, I am sure we will begin the coming of spring dance where the windows are open one day and closed the next.
My reality came crashing down one fine morning when I went out to feed the cat. Just as I bent over to pour out her food, my foot hit some very thin ice, or frost, and whoop! I was sprawled all over the deck with my arm caught in the outdoor furniture. The cat was trying to climb over me to get to her food while I tried to heave myself back up. Because of the warm days, I forgot to be cautious of slippery spaces. Now, I sport a large bruise on my left arm, a few cat scratches, and am once again cautious when I feed the animals in the mornings.
Sometimes, things really bring us back to reality. I would love it to be spring, but the reality is that it is still cold and will be for a while longer. I would love to be younger and not concerned about falls but my reality is that I must be more careful. When I get down it is much harder to get back up and generally not all is well.
Early last week, before the fall with the cat, my world was rocked by a different, much less pleasant reality. I received a text from college age teen telling me that she was in a lockdown because there was a shooter on her campus. “I am safe and under my bed. Don’t call. I will text.” That is NOT what a mother wants to see on her phone.
I was upset, and dad was upset, and she was upset, and I am sure hundreds of other parents were upset and the elementary school was locked down and it was a scary morning for all of us. That is not a reality I want to have repeated. That is not a reality I want anyone else to ever have to go through.
One person did get killed but it was across the street from the campus and all the kids at the university and elementary school were safe. All are safe, but my worry is that our children are living in a fearful, what-if kind of world. Sure, my daughter is safe, but she was terrified for that two hours hiding under her bed in her dorm room not knowing what was going to happen.
Thankfully, the university administration was texting updates and that was helpful, but I do NOT want this to be a reality for my child or any child out there. And yet it is fast becoming a reality that we live with. I want to blame social media. I want to blame gun sales. I want to blame a technology driven culture. I want to blame folks in political positions.
I suppose I can blame anyone or anything I want, but that does not create change.
Accountability. Responsibility. Integrity. Faithfulness. These attributes would better serve us than blame. Think about this quote from Rumi: “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”