all of the selves we Have ever been
My son calls to tell me that he heard from his boss who is traveling in Libya. Through sobs, Sam’s boss reported that he had awakened in Libya one morning this week to the inconceivable reality that entire units of his extended family had been washed out to sea. Gone. Presumed dead. This unimaginable horror is on my mind as I run an errand in my own safe and manicured community.
Reaching for the door to a shop, I glance across the street to a schoolyard. From a brilliant blue sky, the morning sun reflects off the shiny, red, plastic tube-slide creating a spotlight for a gaggle of little boys in their colorful t-shirts as they race onto the playground. Other doors burst open and grade schoolers come from all directions flooding the field with bodies that are running, jumping, swinging, and climbing. Suddenly, the world is alive and the air is full of a joyful noise. For a moment, there are no children buried beneath rubble in Morocco or washed out to sea in Libya, no sobbing, inconsolable parents. And in this moment I feel like Noah after the rain. The entire playground performance seems orchestrated by God, a colorful rainbow to remind me that while I might be disheartened, He is not yet discouraged of man.
There is so much that we take for granted: that the planet is inexhaustible, that the ground beneath our feet is stable, that we can hold back the rain with our human minds and engineering. Thankfully, these sweet playground nymphs are not yet burdened by the thoughts and fears of all that can go wrong. I marvel at their continued faith in grown-ups.
I make a wish on this playground rainbow that all adults can be worthy of this faith, that no child anywhere will be deprived of hope, and that their lives will be such that any loss of health, energy, or joy can be restored simply by taking a nap. And I pray that these children will inspire us to do a better job of caring for this world, this life, this beauty, all this wonder. None of us can do it alone. The world was saved by going in pairs. Let us begin anew.
Send out the dove.