Saturday, October 14, 2017

Fire and bowling and Friday the 13th

     One thing I love about fall is it smells so good.

     By 'it' I mean everything. The air, the soil, the pavement, the trees. Kinda woodsy and smoky...or maybe that's just because I had a fire tonight. I drove the gator down to the barn, in the path of one headlight, loaded the back full of cardboard boxes and miscellaneous pieces of the bunny hutch I tore apart when I was feeling extra angsty, and burned all of it out in the yard underneath the stars, filling the whole neighborhood with smoke right down to the stop sign at the end of the road. (It's good for the environment.)

    I always feel really good when it's all burned down, nothing left but a tiny orange crackle in a pile of coals and ashes. Burning for me has always been a form of therapy, a time to think through life's conundrums, ponder my own failings and abilities, and a chance to smear ashes on my face and feel like Brad Pitt in Legends of the Fall.

    Ever just have an off-day? Or an off-couple-of-days?

    It's not necessarily that anything is going wrong; you're just off. Off your game, not killing it like you'd like to be. You drop stuff and forget what you walked into a room for. It started Wednesday, when I forgot Sally's cider and took the wrong exit off the highway. I went to bed thinking, oh well, crap happens but good thing tomorrow won't be a day like this one...then Thursday's not half over when, what do you know, I'm this-close to turning right onto a one-way in town and putting myself, my sister, and my truck in traction. (I forget what else I did that day, but it wasn't good) - then it's Friday, and I neglect to ask about the Honeycrisp apples when I go to pick up a load of produce, which is an elementary mistake that nobody of my caliber should make - or am I really that awesome? Do I have any skills at all? Should anyone trust me? Am I good for anything?!? (And did I really just turn right on red without stopping?)

     ...and on and on.

     Hence the angst, and the tearing apart of the bunny hutch. Sometimes life is just a lot of faded boards and bent nails.

     Needless to say I wasn't feeling too hot about myself. I moaned to my sister a lot, because she knows that's what she's there for. I couldn't figure out why I felt so lousy, except I tend to get like that every once in a while for no obvious reason and it usually goes away. I remembered last year, almost this exact time actually, when I bought my truck and had such an awful hard time learning how to drive it and thought for sure I was the most pathetic person who ever lived. I got over that, so I'd be okay, but I didn't know how many more Jonah days I could take before I did something with actual lasting negative effects. So Sadie and I went to Tractor Supply and that helped, smelling the cedar chips and hearing the country music and making the cute cashier laugh with our sisterly antics.

     I was feeling much better on the drive home, and didn't even think about hitting a deer, and things were looking brighter. Then the real blessing came when we arrived home: while we were gone our mother had taken a phone call, and we had been invited to go bowling. They'd meet us there in a little while. I cried, and Sadie and I, suddenly not hungry for any kind of supper, got in the truck and drove off again into the night.

    See, I really love bowling. It's a long story that started last January in an old-school bowling alley in a little town without a stoplight. I'm freaking terrible at it and I never seem to get any better, but I love bowling. I love my friends more though. And so, bowling with my best people Friday night, there was so much love going on that I stopped being miserable and let go of all the funkiness of the past three days. Even though it was Friday the 13th, for freaking fudge sakes - or maybe because of that - nothing was getting at me.

     I won't tell you my score that night because it was terrible. That's not the point. The point is, if you're having a bad day that turns into two that turns into three, there's a fix. You don't even have to work for it, because the people who love you will see it gets done.

     If you're in the middle of one of those funks right now, you took the wrong exit, or you tried to pay for your groceries with your library card, chin up. It's a beautiful time to be alive. The sky will clear and the sun will come out and shine down on all those gorgeous red and orange trees, and you'll catch a whiff of that smoky-autumn smell and it'll get right down into your soul and you won't be able to help yourself from embracing the hope that's gonna creep in there with it. My advice? Tear out some nails, if you can find them. Go buy yourself something from Tractor Supply, call up your favorite people and see if they want to go bowling. You can deal with whatever junk you've got tomorrow, it'll still be there. Have a bonfire; put on some Eric Church. Thank God for all the things going right, and you'll see just how much room there is between your problems for goodness to fill itself in.

     "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."   // Philippians 4:6-7

     "But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls."     //Hebrews 10:39




  1. Wow. And just when I was literally going through a funk today. Thanks. I needed this. <3

  2. I definitely have these days, too. <3 And the driving mistakes. Ohh, the driving mistakes. I feel ya. (Awhile ago I went through a four-way stop without waiting for my turn and I felt pretty awful about it but I'm trying REALLY hard to give those instances over to God and just thank Him for protecting me and others. And trying not to make those mistakes again. :P) Also, I relate to the "thinking about hitting a deer" thing, too. xD

    Anyhow, that was unnecessarily long. I hope you're feeling better and thank you for this post. I needed to hear it. <3


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