Good morning, everyone ~
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about roller-coasters.
I was married with pre-teen children before I ever rode one. That was a kiddie ride at Disney World. I was fairly proud of myself for making it to the finish line without passing out, screaming, or throwing up.
My sons asked if we could ride another roller-coaster, and feeling very confident about my newly discovered abilities, I said: “Sure!”
“Thunder Mountain” is NOT a kiddie ride!!!! Whisking through dark tunnels at high speed; jerking right, then left without warning; dropping suddenly into nothingness! All my confidence disappeared, never to be found again. I exited the car on shaking legs, with a head filled with dread for how my two young children had fared … alone … in the dark unknown … possibly injured during some sharp twist or maybe thrown from the vehicle.
No — they both got off laughing. LAUGHING!!!!!!! Which made me feel both relieved and foolish.
To this day, I wonder how anyone can find roller-coaster rides “fun”! The uphill climbs are a bit boring. The downhill plunge is heart-attack making. Where is the “fun” in being that frightened?
Today is Halloween — filled with goblins, ghouls, zombies … and very few super heroes. (Are we growing numb to things that once frightened us? Or, have we given up on finding heroes who walk amongst us?)
These past two years of pandemic have taken all of us on an invisible roller-coaster ride. Sometimes the ups-n-downs have been so rapid that we’ve been left with a sense of dizziness and uncertainty. The experts have changed direction too often, too quickly, leaving us confused. We find ourselves consciously aware of inner anger when we see someone wearing or not-wearing a mask. Every news story coverage of someone who has contracted COVID, or has just died from complications of it, or the random ‘lottery’ of who survives and who doesn’t — well, it can be enough to make us ill at ease with ourselves/others.
It’s a roller-coaster ride that no one enjoys, for it comes without any sense of safety. On “Thunder Mountain” there is an unspoken sense of safety in knowing that precautions have been made. The lap-bar provides a comfort — something to hold onto — when the challenges get tough. We see the vast majority of people coming out of the experience with no ill effect, and most of them are smiling, laughing, sharing their experiences in the created-dark/free-fall into pseudo-danger.
COVID and the various forms of vaccination do not provide us with a similar sense of safety. Yet, we grasp hold of some invisible bar of Faith that we’re doing the right thing, making the right choice … trusting in the methods, science, statistics (as much as we can). We think we see the Truth beneath the cloak of confusion. We either reach for the goodie or avoid that “door” altogether.
We’re all, all over the world, on a roller-coaster ride with COVID and science. Both heroes and villains are walking our neighborhoods. Fear itself is wearing a mask. Sometimes, that mask is a clever disguise and, other times, it’s a real fright! The common denominator in this is that mixture of fear and expectation-of-joy when the ride is over. It isn’t the falling that makes us laugh at the end of a roller-coaster ride. It’s that feeling of sheer wonder that we survived!
Stay safe. Stay curious. Stay aware and informed, and trust your own instincts. May your bag come home filled with only treats; no tricks! Happy Halloween ~ let’s fill the world with relieving laughter today, knowing that we have (thus far) survived! Who knows? The “ride” may be over tomorrow, and we can all return to Life as it was Before The COVID Ride, when the villains and heroes could be easily distinguished, even when both were wearing masks of disguise.
Gentle hugs/much love,