Lightening illuminated the room as Kevin began to count,
“One one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand…”
A roll of thunder signaled the approaching storm. The ten-year old boy wasn’t as afraid of storms as he use to be. However, lightning always brought an eery view to his room. Perhaps it was the split second revelation followed by the sudden darkness that led to his overactive imagination. Was that shadow my coat or a dark creature? He was certain that it was his jacket hanging in the closet. He clearly remembered hanging it there.
Another flash of lightning revealed his jacket was indeed hanging there next to an unknown shadow that seemed to be staring at him. All features were hidden, but he was certain something was standing in his closet. The thunder crackled as the creature moved, ever so slightly. It moved! I saw it move. There is something in my closet and it just moved. Focusing his attention to the closet he could hear the creature breathing. But, what is it? Kevin slowly slid out of his bed and slipped across the carpet; taking care not to make a sound.
The creature appeared to be short like a goblin. No identifying features were revealed as Kevin got close. Holding his breath he got within inches of it. He could still hear it’s rapid shallow breathing. There’s no such thing as monsters. If there are, I’m about to catch my first one. Raising his hand towards its head he slowly began to exhale.
“Kevin.” a small voice called out.
A fear struck him as the creature seized his hand with its cold pale fingers. Lightening struck illuminating its screaming face. Kevin’s scream was eclipsed by the explosion of thunder. His backwards leap pulled the creature from the closet. The two fell to the floor as fear gripped them both. Before Kevin could move his unknown fiend wrapped it thin arms around him.
“I’m scared.” his sister whispered.
A flood of revelation brought an onslaught of relief to Kevin. Realizing it was his little sister the whole time, he hugged her back.
“It’s OK. That lightening was scary.”
Reaching up, he pulled his pillow from his bed for them to share and covered up with the blanket she brought from her room. The two slept on the floor as the storm passed over. Every now and then his sister would jerk from the thunder, and he would comfort her. He knew this was all part of being a big brother, even if she did scare the living daylight out of him.
Five a.m. came quick for Chris. It wasn’t a late night with the boys, or an argument with his wife that brought the morning on so quick. No, he was just worn out from his new carpentry job. Setting in his favorite chair, he realized he had fallen asleep with his work boots on. A small quilt covered him; a sure sign his wife took care of him.
Slowly making his way to the kitchen his body ached. Every joint popped like a bowl of milk and rice-crispies. Setting at the kitchen table, he untied his boots and kicked them off. Pulling his socks off too, he placed his feet on the cold hardwood floor. The cool flat surface brought relief as he made his way to the coffeepot. First the a precise measurement of grounds, then a pot full of water was added. As the first drip of coffee fell, Chris began to stretch. How could he be this young and feel this old? His hands still felt tight from gripping a hammer all day. Hand cramps were a sign of learning. Gotta let the hammer do the work. He told himself as he stretched his fingers out. The morning fog cleared from his thoughts as he stood there watching the pot fill. I could be getting ready for the day.
A quick shower and fresh clothes helped him face the morning. Moving with more ease, he poured his first cup. Not sure if it was his youth, inexperience or the excitement of learning a new trade, but he was actually excited to go to work. His career choice was the foundation he was building his life on.
Life didn’t come with instructions. It came with those before us showing what works and what doesn’t. Like Chris, we have all stepped out with uncertainty. But our youthful vigor perpetuated us all to achieve our greatness. As our work kicks back with pain, we are reminded five a.m. comes quick for us all.
Reality is 100% perception. This small statement has held true through the test of time. If we believe our life is horrible, then it is. If we believe that we are the best, then we are. It doesn’t matter what others think, say, or do. The manner in which we perceive our reality drives how we react and interact. Have you ever taken a statement the wrong way? At the time the statement may have sounded bad or good, but later it was revealed that the statement was meant to be received in the opposite fashion.
I remember once, I had a 1983 Chevy truck with a short narrow bed. It was lifted and had 32″ tires. In Willow Grove PA, it stood out amongst the BMW’s and Lexus’. At a stoplight I had a gentleman lean out of the passenger side of the vehicle beside me, and shouted “Big truck little cockatoo!” Actually he stopped at the first syllable. I smiled and said “Thanks!”
I knew what he meant, but I also knew that that is something said out of envy. It’s said to those with exotic cars, big houses, big boats, In some aspect of the situation that gentleman displayed envy. That is something to be proud of. It would have been easy to get mad and try to defend my the size of my cockatoo. But why? In reality, we were two people at a stoplight, whose paths will never cross again. What would be the point of getting mad? It is healthier to find humor in every situation than to find offense.
Life is to short to go around taking everything in a negative manner. If someone says something to us and it hurt us, we owe it to them and ourselves to be honest and let them know how we felt (in a professional manner, of course). It is also important to understand that people may take what we say differently than we planned on them receiving it. This is where respecting each others feeling come in. We all have had different experiences in life. This allows for different views, and different opinions. If we take the time to understand where we all come from, it is easier to understand how a person may misinterpret what we say. We should take the time to get off of our “high horse”. Everyone is not against us. Everyone is not out to get us. Maybe, just maybe, everyone thinks we are out to get them. Question is, who is going to see the reality?
Thanks for taking the time to read, and may we always stay in a positive reality.