Posted in Reflections

The girl with the dreads

They dangled down her back, each thread separate but together. And she worshiped them. Her dreads were her identity. Her freedom. Her home. So when she joined the army she never questioned if they were coming with her. With every push up and every pull up, her hair cheered her on as each bead clapped together with the swing of her head. The sound soon became the girls anthem song.

No one could forget that smile. That wide, bright smile with her dark blue eyes. It’s almost as if she knew something we didn’t know.

But what was it?

So when it was spring break in San Diego and the soldiers were out playing at the beach, we weren’t even surprised to see her running down the sidewalk pushing a grocery cart with a few books and a dog in it. It was her after all.

Boy did she play with the crowd! She weaved and waggled that cart while running full speed ahead and never hit a soul! The dog, of course, laid still as if he belonged there his whole life. Not even fazed for a moment.

She just kept running and laughing all along the board walk until something blocked her path. And the only thing that could ever manage to do that was what appeared to be a volleyball match. Two boys on either side, thin as sticks, whacking the beautiful white globe back and forth until one boy became victim to “the tip” and the ball would fall so close to the net that it was almost impossible to dig it up.

And there she stood. It was love at first sight. She couldn’t deny it. The game had won her heart.

While she was momentarily distracted, a puppy nearby took a liking to her dog in the cart. Now this puppy was like any other, fluffy and curious, nothing special. So of course, the dog in the cart didn’t give the pup even a side eyed glance because it wasn’t worth its time. However, as it came closer she noticed a twinkle in its eye that she recognized and just as she was reaching her arms out, it bolted! It found the nearest hole in the fence and ran.

Who was its owner you may ask? One of the sticks playing the glorious game! And once he noticed the pup had houdinied out of its leash and escaped through the fence, he dropped the ball and tried to chase after him.

And again there she stood, flabbergasted he would choose the pup over the game. No matter. A spot was now open and it was her turn to play.

Posted in Reflections

Where do the birds go?

Where do the birds go when it rains? What gives them protection from the storm? I can imagine them shivering, huddled together worried and afraid. I can also imagine them desperately scanning the horizon seeking any missing friends hoping they counted every feather in their flock.

However, what I most imagine is what they do with that fear. Do they let it consume them or do they let it release them?

And as I walk and ponder this I hear them all at once opening their throats to what begins to sound like a melody. A melody, I believe, they save only for storms. A melody of hope in the horizon where fear can not hurt them. And so they begin, one by one singing their song of courage and joy in the unknown. And as I look up I can see them imagining my fear instead of theirs. They are no different than me, I realize. And with their feathers stretched out, I begin to see them sway. Feather by feather they stretch and sway until the entire flock unites as one choir, heads raised high, eyes closed. The build up becomes so intense that it starts to grow and lift their spirits beyond the barn where they perch. Even the munching cows take notice!

The chorus continues to climb; nothing will cease the chant of love until the last drop of rain touches the earth. Even if they have to hum to the finish line, I realize, the flock will not stop for they believe their sound is their horizon.