#249 - A Walk in the Park
Has anything been 'a walk in the park' for you? What does that mean? Is a walk in the park really the easiest thing we can do? Have you had a great real walk in a real park lately? Do you need me to tell you to go outside and take a walk in a park? Tell us about a walk in the park.
I have been mulling this one over in my head for days. Thinking and discarding and returning to the same train of thought and finally the surrender to just go with it.
When we touched the ground of the good old USA in St. Louis after escaping from Mexico and eight days of being held captive, stranded and seemingly forgotten by the rest of the world, we cheered wildly at the top of our lungs. We were dirty and smelly. Joe had not shaved for a week. I was sun burnt and cranky.
We had finally arrived home after our four day all inclusive trip to Cancun was interrupted by a Hurricane which added an additional four days of adventure, but not just any Hurricane, by Wilma. The strongest slowest moving category five Hurricane ever. She wiped out Cancun, deciding to stay for three days, and ruined our vacation. It took every ounce of strength and every dollar we had to get back to the US. We journeyed across a whipped Yucatan Peninsula to catch the last flight out of Madeira to the US. We were the last to leave. We turned out the lights in that airport.
We cheered wildly as the plane landed on US soil.
I thought after that, I can endure anything. Anything else after will be a WALK IN THE PARK. Try going day after day without being able to change clothes because your luggage is in a beach hotel on the seventh floor that may or may not still be standing. The beach was gone. Should we expect the hotel to have survived? But it did, and we walked up seven flight of stairs, in the pitch black, so dark you could not see your hands and I could not see Joe in front of me. But we emerged on the floor and by the grace of God, our luggage made it! Sitting in the bath tub (as instructed) even though the rest of the room was a shambles with the ocean facing wall gone.
I can endure anything after that. No rain storm, no flood, no tornado, no blizzard will ever phase me.
Well, maybe a tornado.
But once you have lived through the sound of a freight train running over you, around you, and through you as you crouch and huddle in a brick school house for an entire night while the whole city whips around you tossing iron sheets of metal, as if they were pieces of paper, trying to ram through the walls.
If you can keep from panicking, if you can keep from screaming, if you can keep from crying you'll be okay. The only sounds other than the unrelenting wind - wind is too meek a word - was the murmur of prayers.
If I can get through that, the rest of my life is a walk in the park.