Best 10 days of 2012?
August 5-15, 2012. Vacationing in a thatched-roof hut in Kruger National Park, South Africa, with a wake-up call from Neil, our crazy good Dutch guide, at 5:30 am to jump start each sunrise game drive. Any cat would be a good sighting, but I secretly hoped to see a male lion--Mufasa--the magnificent leader of the pride land in Lion King.
You know. The king of the jungle, top of the food chain, mighty warrior with an incredible roar. "Mightiest among beasts and does not turn back before any," says the biblical proverb. My favorite Christmas gift as a child was Leo, a 4-foot stuffed yellow and pink striped lion with long dancing legs.
On our 10th day, 1 hour before leaving the park, a fully grown Mufasa walked onto the road and opened its jaws 5 feet in front of us. I braced myself for the roar, but Neil said it was a call. Soon another male lion walked past our van just about under our right windows. Trevor told me to calm down (I was becoming a distraction) and framed the "money shot" (as Neil said) from the open widow. Both creatures were magnificent, regal. Fearless.
No fear in the New Year.
This is my resolution.
I have plenty of very good reasons to fear. My 3 sons driving. My parents in their late stage of life with increasing cognitive decline. Aging in general. Looking in the mirror. And if that is not enough, constant reminders from the media about what is bad, worse, or disastrous. The rising cost of healthcare, horrible crimes, Illinois insolvency, gang violence, civil war in Syria. The list goes on and on.
So what does the word FEAR really mean? My Mac dictionary defines it as "an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat." Or, "the likelihood of something unwelcome happening.
Or, more specific: to FEAR FOR: a feeling of anxiety concerning the outcome of something or the safety and well-being of someone.
The latter easily sums up the emotional life of this wife, mother and caregiver. I want to be determined, resolute, focused, purposeful, careful, but not anxious and fearful. Time spent worrying and complaining is wasted. I'd like to live each day in 2013 like there is no tomorrow. Jason Gray wrote a great song about focusing on the here and now, and for good reason. Part of the lyrics say, "It's good to be alive....I won’t take it for granted, I won’t waste another second..."
My sons will not always be under my roof, nor my parents alive nearby.
Today I took my parents to the Red Apple for brunch. We all felt it was great to be alive on the first day of the new year. We enjoyed our time together immensely, lived in the moment, and the sun was even shining down.
I wish all of us a year of building others up with encouragement, care, and love. Let's "live like there's no tomorrow," and "love like we're on borrowed time."