You just felt that same feeling that coursed through Charles Lindop as he turned from surfing on the waters of Avalon beach.
It was incomprehensible. My brain couldn’t process the images my eyes were seeing. It was almost like having an out-of-body experience.
You turn. There’s your 15 year old son. Surfing on the waters of Sydney?
In the jaws of a massive white shark.
You know, Jaws.
The thing is as tall as you. Massive. Grinning its horrible white teeth as it sinks them into his leg. He hasn’t eaten all day, and he’s going for his meal.
It’s fierce. Terrible. Horrendous.
All of the horrible words in the world wrapped into one.
Suddenly you are frozen to your spot. A second becomes a day. Your mouth is clammy. Your muscles taut. Are your eyes serious? Are you hallucinating?
And suddenly all you are thinking is that the 5000 lb creature had better let go of your son.
I bet those cowboys who go in there and ride a 2000 lb bull would tell you they’d never want to tackle a 5000 lb shark.
You turn into the waters. Why don’t you run away? You can’t win the local swimming competition to save your life.
But you could win to save your son’s. It’s the fastest 75 meters you have ever paddled.
Is it adrenaline? Is it human instinct? Is it the love of a parent? Is it the grotesque daring of the horrible white monster?
What causes a hero to be born at that moment?
I don’t know, but I wonder. What do you think? What makes a man, a woman, or a child turn into the danger to face it, fight it, and triumph over it instead of away from it?
Is your heart thumping in your ribs? Sure it’s thumping. Is your mind racing? Sure, you can’t even form a thought if you tried. Are you afraid? Sure you’re afraid. But you’re not so afraid that you can’t turn right into those waters and wrestle your son from the jaws of a shark.
At that moment something else becomes more important than your fear.
That’s when courage is born.
That beautiful morning that Charles Lindop took his teenage son Andrew for the adventure of surfing, he never dreamed what was in store for him.
Richard Peltier is another father who fought to save his son David from the jaws of a shark. He thrust his right hand into the shark’s mouth. He tried to punch the shark’s mouth open. It was human vs. monster. Finally he smacked the shark in the eye. That’s when the shark gave up the fight. After his son died from the injuries, he sobbed, “I didn’t do enough.” A witness said he had done everything he could.
Richard Peltier is a hero.
Charles Lindop is a hero too. His story has a happy ending. After 4 hr surgery and 9 days in the hospital, Andrew’s ready to go back into the water.
At some point, you have faced fear in your life. I have. Fear of the unknown. Fear of failure….Perhaps you are even facing it now.
Your heart pounds. The shirt you are wearing is dripping with sweat. Your forehead tightens. Your eyes are glued in terror.
Did you rise above that? Did you say “I can”?
When fear met you, was courage born?
Dear You, that is when you triumphed.
Don’t be afraid. A friend of mine used to say to me over and over, “Let not your heart be troubled, don’t let it be afraid.”
Now I say to you, ”Don’t let your heart be troubled.”
You can look fear in the eye and say “I Can, but You Can’t.”
You are strong. You can be courageous.
P.S. Answers to Who Said So? 1. Mother Theresa 2. Nelson Mandela 3. Wayne Gretzky Canadian hockey player 4. Will Rogers 5. Vince Lombardi 6. Mahatma Ghandi 7. Billie Jean King American female tennis player 8. Winston Churchill 9. Yogi Berra NY Yankee Baseball 10. If you just could not figure this one out, don’t worry, I couldn’t either. Why? We don’t know who wrote it. :) The answer is: Unknown.
…oh what stories they would have to tell!
I just had a good laugh today.
Somewhere in one of the National Forests, where many a group of hikers or tourists has taken a trip up the trail, there is a tree who has heard it all.
When the Forest Service folks give wilderness backpackers a comment card to fill out after their camping trips, I bet they don’t expect these kind of answers. But they DO get them!
A small deer came into my camp and stole my bag of pickles. Is there a way I can get reimbursed? Please call.
Instead of a permit system or regulations, the Forest Service needs to reduce worldwide population growth to limit the number of visitors to wilderness.
I don’t think that’s exactly the kind of job that the Forest Service folks want to take on.
Please avoid building trails that go uphill.
That’s cause you’re in the mountains. Go west, bud, go west! It’s all flat out here. You can hike for miles, and there’s still miles upon miles before you get to the other side of the horizon.
Too many bugs and leeches and spiders and spider webs. Please spray the wilderness to rid the area of these pests.
I have no words to say.
The coyotes made too much noise last night and kept me awake. Please eradicate these annoying animals.
Trails need to be wider so people can walk while holding hands.
The places where trails do not exist are not well marked.
Escalators would help on steep uphill sections
Too many rocks in the mountains.
A McDonald’s would be nice at the trailhead.
“If ponies rode men and grass ate the cows…”
Some things are just a part of experiencing the wild and beautiful…things like bugs and rocks in the mountains and the absence of McDonalds. There’s nothing like the calm and solitude of the wilderness, even with spiders and the occasional pickle thief.
Some of you are probably wondering what in the world this post is about.
Sometimes it’s just good to laugh.
Here’s the little personal bit about myself that I promised you earlier today.
I want to be rodeo queen.
Unfortunately, the last time I got off a horse I lost my balance and fell backwards into the arms of the unprepared cowhand.
I think he was as startled as I was.
This time when I went horse riding I pledged not to be so awkward.
This is the picture I got while on top of George–
It really was a beautiful ride.
Even though I killed my camera battery.
My camera battery finally died.
“You killed it!”–a wrangler joked upon learning my predicament
I wonder why we laughed so much while talking to these wranglers?
I think only my sister would laugh till she rolled out of her chair at this comment. There’s an inside joke attached to it as well.
I know, I know, inside jokes are no fun to anybody (except for those on the inside).
Have you ever (like me) been in a meeting, and somebody makes a joke, and you perceive it in your own way to be funny. So you laugh…
And then he, or she (bless their hearts) announces,
“That’s an inside joke.”
And that doesn’t include you?
Okay, maybe I’m the only one that’s happened to. Or who has made a joke like that.
Back to my story…thankfully I came prepared with another charged battery. I changed it while I was riding on top of the horse.
The cowhand was very much impressed–
that I had brought an extra battery–
not that I could change it while riding on top of George and holding the reins.
I think he was also impressed that I had already “killed” it as well.
And wondering when the camera was going to stop always being pointed at him.
So he smiled and pointed out the scenery.
And I pointed the camera at him pointing at the scenery.
Not really. :-) The wranglers were having fun. They made all of us feel right at home and joked and laughed and talked, and then talked some more with us.
And that cowhand was still smiling when he good-naturedly swaggered to sit astride the picnic table etched with ranch brands when the ride was over.
I took some more pictures of the scenery–which was wild, rugged, and free.
By the way, my sister and I have a wonderful relationship.
Although I’m sure she wouldn’t mind loaning me out to you every once in a while.
Meaning, if you’ve always wanted a sister, let me–I mean ‘her’–know.
Just don’t try to write her through ‘dear M.E.’ because she’ll never get the letter.
Hopefully it wouldn’t be just to find out what that inside joke is.
Okay, I need to get some rest. Obviously. This post is starting to get out of hand.
(I did change this photo to black-and-white, in order to respect the wishes of certain of my folks to remain anonymous.)
Your Aspiring Miss Rodeo Queen,
P.S. No, there weren’t any mishaps this time, such as falling backwards off a horse.
Except my sister’s horse decided he knew a better way to get back home.
One of the cowhands went off and rescued her.
I wish I could say this horse was in a conspiracy to be a matchmaker. Just kidding. ;-)
P.S.S. She’ll get me back one day, I’m sure. She promises to write a blog to rival mine, in the future. I wouldn’t be worried except that I am positive her subject matter would be far more entertaining than mine.
“He has set a tabernacle for the sun…
which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber…
and rejoices as a strong man to run a race.”
That is a blazing ball called the sun, moving across the sky and determined to burst forth from the clouds.
(And it burst forth. Only moments later.)
Been to a wedding? David wrote that the sun reminds us of the face of a bridegroom.
Or like an athletic man preparing to run the marathon of his life.
Have you ever thought about that?
Sunshine is a symbol of happiness, of joy, of strength, of hope!
Sunshine is the symbol of optimism.
And this magical thing called sunshine sweeps away a thing called darkness.
This blazing ball called the sun moves across the sky in silence, full of power and determination to touch and warm everything on which it shines.
We should be like that. Let’s be sun catchers. Catch the sunshine and reflect those beautiful colors of your life to all of those around you. It’ll be harder for you to see the shadows, and you may reflect the sunshine onto somebody else!
Well, what do you think? I love when you share your thoughts via comments. What do you think about sunshine? When you are driving in the car, and you roll down the car window, and the sunshine bursts forth, and you reach for those sunglasses, what are you thinking?
awaiting your thoughts,
P.S. Be prepared. Later today, as this vacation rolls to its end, I may live my dream. You may hear a personal little bit about M.E for one post. We’ll see…
(P.S.S. Some of you are wondering, do I edit these photos? No. I’m on vacation. They haven’t been touched.)
I walked far into the dunes.
What is the best therapy for an over-worked, stressed person?
A moonlit walk on the sands, all alone. Or a moonlit walk anywhere in the silence. There’s always a moon shining in the night.
Kinda helps you think things through…clear things out of your mind that are there but don’t need to be.
Kinda puts everything at rest.
Why? Because at last you are surrounded by some orderliness.
Not a wisp of wind…yet everything moves like clockwork, all around you, as it should.
“When I consider thy heavens… the moon…what is man, that thou art mindful of him?”
How is it, that with all this beauty, God still made us? Knowing we would break the orderliness that His glorious sun and moon would never break?
If you have an answer for that please get back with me.
P.S. Imagine a king looking into a sky full of stars, and a bright moon, and pondering these same words. Read them in Psalm 8.
P.S.S. And yes, like I suggested yesterday, there were kabobs in the evening, the smell drifting from the grill.
First glimpse of the dunes.
Looks like folks have been there already. I can see their footprints.
We all leave footprints in the sands of our lives.
Climbing these dunes is not easy.
It’s not easy, but I know it’s possible. It’s possible because I can see footprints in the sand left by somebody else who tried.
We may be struggling and straining to make it up to the top, but we can look across the way and see someone else who has struggled up the same hill…
And made it.
That is inspiration.
These are the people who leave footprints on our hearts. Footprints in our lives.
And we are never the same again.
We can know that we can make it to the top because we can see their footprints rising over the hill…and going beyond.
You will never walk alone.
Love to each of you,
(P.S. You may be wondering, what’s up with M.E.’s folks at the moment? Well, these dunes are so popular, it looks like we’ll be coming back tomorrow. How does grilling kabobs out on the dunes sound? The silence, the sunset, the smell of barbequeing kabobs wafting into the air….silence and peace and rest from the cares of life.)
If I may say so…
At the cross, at the cross, where I first saw the light…
The sun came over the trees. It was amazing.
And the burden of my heart rolled away. It was there by faith I first saw the light, and now I am happy all the day.
There was a place to worship beneath the pines.
These pictures make me smile. I hope they bring some happiness to you.
So pics are put on hold for a little while, until the snowy weather threat clears up.
Meanwhile I was looking back on some pics from a trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota last year in the summer.
Wow did we have a blast.
When I see ‘we’ I know a lot of you are wondering who that exactly includes. Hubby, the kids?
Actually no. I’m single. Yes, very much single. And waiting for Mr. Handsome to come from around some corner and “wow!” me off my feet.
So I’m talking about my folks–parents, brothers, and sis.
My folks and I have a good time.
We laugh and joke and argue, and argue some more, just like any family.
We camp in very cramped quarters, most of the time.
We’re all pursuing our very different degrees but there’s one thing we all have in common. We are family.
So if I give one of them a hard time sometimes, don’t worry, it’s because we’re family.
Looks like I got a little sidetracked from the Black Hills.
While we were there, among many other things, we took a train ride from Grand Rapids.
It was wonderful to sit back in the open car and let the breeze gently blow by, soak in the sunshine, and hear the whistle blow from the engine way up at the front.
One thing you’ll find out is that characteristically, I like lots of sunshine flooding through my photos.
Wouldn’t that be an ideal place to live?
Everything’s so beautiful.
It speaks happiness.
Imagine the big white clouds drifting by.
Maybe this doesn’t excite some of you.
Maybe some of you need to experience this.
Meanwhile, I will hope things outside start to clear up.
I don’t write much about my personal life, do I?
Maybe I’ll post vacation pictures, soon. That way you can see the places I like to go.
I love where I live, but there’s also nothing like getting out and enjoying a vacation.
You see, when I am face to face with beautiful scenery, I react to it in the following ways:
When I’m on the mountaintop, I feel I have the world at my feet. like I have conquered. (Even though I’ve driven all the way to the top.)
There’s a beautiful sunrise, and my jaw drops.
There’s a beautiful sunset. My jaw drops again. This time it’s because I’m yawning. Just kidding.
When the sunshine bursts through the trees…I’m singing all inside.
When the valley, lush and greeen, is sandwiched between two mighty mountains, with a river winding through…I just want to stay there forever. I LOVE mountains! And we don’t have any where I live.
But I like the cool things, too. (Pretty specific, huh?) You’ll see some of those.
Okay, you’ve helped me make up my mind.
I’ll post the pics. The good ones.
Meanwhile, the packing…
a very busy M.E.