My son has a friend. Two nights ago, she had a little baby boy. He was born with some of his inside parts on the outside. Through the miracle of modern, western medicine, a team of doctors and nurses will fix this, and this little peanut is going to be ok. He’ll get to come home with his mom and dad and get rough snuggles from his big sister. He’ll sleep in his own lovingly prepared crib.
This is amazing.
I Got Really Lucky
Greg and I were talking about it, and I said it’s a darn good thing I had my babies when I was young because the more I know about all the things that can go wrong, the less I would be inclined toward parenthood. I got really lucky with my boys. And still, we struggle with anxiety, depression, ADHD, bipolar disorder. Not to mention the cancer.
Still, I consider us very lucky.
One of my favorite authors, Ann Patchett, in a book she wrote that I love, Bel Canto, writes of one of her characters, “It makes you wonder. All the brilliant things we might have done with our lives if only we suspected we knew how.”
This is the exact opposite of knowing too much. And these days, we know way too much.
We Know Too Much
I remember about fifteen or twenty years ago when our troops stationed in the Middle East began posting pictures and videos of Camel Spiders. Even as a person who likes spiders, these buddies were the stuff of nightmares. They were giant, they chased humans, and their bite was deadly.
I remember thinking that creatures like this used to only exist in books and movies. We used to be able to tell ourselves that these scary and threatening life forms weren’t real. I felt deep dread at the thought of coming to terms with a reality where I live on the same planet as these monsters.
Good news and bad news: When I googled them for my post, I was relieved that though camel spiders can run up to 10mph, they are only doing so to seek the shade of the person fleeing. They aren’t, in fact, chasing. Also, they aren’t venomous! Woohoo! However, though they do live in the deserts of the Middle East, they also live in the southwestern United States. Boo. But enough about camel spiders.
Don’t Rock The Boat
We see and hear and know so much these days that it is nearly impossible to find comfort when we need it. There is always that situation in which something terrible happened despite all the safety precautions and protocols. That friend of a friend who caught this rare form of [fill in the blank] or randomly experienced [fill in the blank], though it should never have happened in the first place.
The possibilities are endless, and that knowledge is utterly paralyzing. It makes risk taking even riskier. It makes a person want to put their head down, be small, and be satisfied with what she’s got. Don’t rock the boat. Don’t think outside of the box. And definitely don’t step outside of the box –camel spiders are out there!
There is another voice though. A voice that calls to the higher, braver parts of us. And I believe we are mostly made of higher, braver parts. This voice challenges us to know who we are and to take up the space we are meant to. There is the balance of light in us that invites us up and out of the dark places. A yearning in us that suspects that something is missing – there is more that we are capable of. We do know more than we think we know.
What if there are brilliant things we are meant to do? In fact, I know there are brilliant things we are meant to do. I have seen the human soul and it is utterly inspiring, beautiful, the essence of creativity and love. The simple act of suspecting we know more than we think we know, puts our hand on the doorknob of a door of possibility.
What follows next is curiosity. And after that, wonder.
I suspect that little baby with the insides on the outside is going to grow up into a shiny child. I bet his story will bring comfort and courage to someone who really needs it. I bet his mom will feel really lucky. It’s ok that they’re having a rough start. I bet they both have many moments of brilliance before them.
It makes you wonder, though, doesn’t it? All the brilliant things all of us might be doing with our lives if only we suspected we knew how.
If you feel very lucky or afraid, if you suspect there is more for you, more in you, let’s wonder together today, and be friends~