One Saturday morning in October, I put my feet to the wooden floor like a hundred mornings before it, and the feet of my baby boy were already running on streets of gold. As the blackout shades began dropping down on my eyes, little scales were falling off of his deep blues. One night I went to bed with the whole world moving in its place, spinning on an axel that I knew as good. Then one morning, that world flew off into wild orbit, no longer grounded. And I was left alone in the space of the world unhinged, standing in the silent, still spot of the storm that never even brewed.
How do I walk again on wooden floors, in grassy fields, on concrete sidewalks when I know all too well that the axel on which the world tilts, shakes with danger and unknowing? Could I possibly dig my heels into sands that might shift before I am ever settled? Is there a place for peace when I know how quickly the wind snaps and the bottom drops?
I know that there is no safety. And everything could snap off its axel at any-blessed-given-second. But I also know that if I were to have just one more hour to walk with my boy again on wooden floors, grassy fields or concrete sidewalks, that I would not waste one second of it pondering looming pain. No, I would dig in deeply to each passing minute.
So these days, the question for me is not, “how can I possibly dig in?” but instead, “how can I possibly not?” For it’s the very fragility that makes life precious and each moment sacred. The beauty of the reward is found in the danger of the risk. And only when standing on the edge, hands gripping the pole of my white flag as it turns to gold, whipping in the wild wind, do I find holy ground. It is not safe or controlled and is certainly not mapped out. But it is good, holy ground.
For what I know now is that there is no preparing the heart for the worst case. I know that I could never dull the pain of a sudden blow by wincing before it is thrown. That hunkering down for the rain to come only means hiding out from the life to live. And if I build walls of protection from grief, then I might as well set up camp in the cage that separates me from joy. For pulling at threads of control, searching for safety would one day undoubtedly leave me lost in a pile of its tangled unraveling.
So I will dig my heels into wooden floors, grassy fields and concrete sidewalks. And I will stand in the light as it pours through the cracks of breaking ground.