I finished yet another "long-term" sub position today, and although I wasn't necessarily heart-broken to leave the kids this time, the closure represented yet another transition. I was feeling muddled after school, coupled with the anxiety brought on by the orthodontist informing me that my face is asymmetrical and not only it worsen with time, but my only option is to surgi ally reconstruct my jaw. So I felt I had no choice in my plans for the afternoon: a walk in the woods. I charged my iPod, added the Third Day and Karl Digress playlist, and started off around 3:30pm. Just feeling un-artificially warm for the first time in months was a treat in and of itself. But the biggest surprise, and biggest blessing, was my discovery of another woodsy trail. Some people, like Mark, live for the beach. Although I agree there is a cadence and almost hypnotic quality about the ocean, I much prefer the woods, lovely, dark, and deep. The air is so clean and fresh; i can practically feel the heartbeat of a forest rife with living. I love the mystery, and yet stability of a familiar wood. My anxiety melts as I meditate on God, His beautiful creation, and the simplest "medicine" of all. Forget Merck, try nature.
What if we all had a place--secret or shared--where we could go when life became too difficult to handle? Instead of taking out our stress, anger, and confusion on others, what if everyone had coping strategies that included self-nourishing behaviors, like contemplation, forgiveness (of others and self), creativity, and innovation. What if we had more green spaces and less parking spaces? What if every teacher hugged their students as they walked in the door, looked them in the eye, and told them they're a gem? What if every father lived with his children, tucked them into bed, and kissed them on the forehead, telling them, "I am proud of you. I love you."? What if the simple mantra "Love God. Love People." was taken seriously by those who profess to be Christians? Could we affect a change in the culture? What if we didn't see fat/skinny, black/white, tall/short, but instead saw through masks and layers of protection to the real person? What if were gentler on ourselves and more accepting of others? What would the world look like if we weren't too ________ to be who we were created to be?