Earlier this week my little guy and I had an SOS mission to the shop (note to self: test newly made shop keys before leaving them with staff for closing; apparently key-making kiosks are not fool proof....). It was a picture perfect evening though, so we took the opportunity to stop by a local park on our way home. A creek, a stick, a boy in his element, complete with spring flowers dotting the landscape: quite the idyllic moment & I snapped a photo to capture it (see proof above). And if I left it at that, you'd probably have the impression that our park date turned out just how I envisioned it would - sweet, relaxing, a chance to pause and revel in the beautiful scene we found ourselves in. Except that's not exactly what happened, not quite. Do you want to know what actually went down in our short stint at the park that evening?
1. Approximately 58.2 seconds after capturing this photo, my boy's arm landed in a patch of stinging nettles.
2. Arm instantly turned red, got puffy, got itchy; got quite a lot o' hives.
3. Now not-so-happy boy informed me that a trip to the hospital was clearly in order.
4. We compromised; and walked over to the playground. Distraction is good.
5. Approximately 2.5 minutes later, same said boy had a nasty run-in with the plastic yellow slide.
6. Followed by tears - round two.
7. We retreated back home to nurse wounds and call it a night.
Let's just say we both left that park more rattled than we'd entered it.
Can you relate? I mean have you ever been right in the middle of your own idyllic moment, when all of a sudden those nettles spring up out of nowhere? Only to be followed by another life-whammy smacking you right where it hurts?
Such is life, right? Our idyllic moments often only last for that - a moment. Maybe today you're faced with far worse problems than scrapes and nettle-stings. Maybe you're ready to put on your bubble-suit and retreat back home where you can avoid further hurts altogether. Because life can HURT.
Here's the thing though. If you, if we, stay on our comfy couch, wrapped up in our safety nets and fearing what might be lurking somewhere unaware, we will, inevitably, miss out on a whole lot of beautiful moments waiting for us right outside our door. If I would have known what a stop to the park would involve that particular evening, most likely I would never have stopped in the first place. But then my boy and I would have missed out on those first few good minutes by the creek. And honestly looking back, I wouldn't have wanted to miss that.
So I encourage you:
Get out there!
Grab your stick, find your creek to explore, and wonder along that grassy bank (just don't forget to take off the bubble suit first). Your worries might not be chased away in an instant, and I can't guarantee your step out of your comfortable will be nettle-free, but in a moment you might just feel the warmth of sunshine on your face. You might even catch a glimpse of spring beauty in its fullness. And even if it only lasts but a moment, it will be worth it.
Just one favor, okay? Capture those moments, no matter how briefly they last. Take a photo, sketch it out, write about it. Then share what you capture with us, or a friend, or your family. Not to prove that life is always picture-perfect, but to prove that there is beauty in the small moments, and that this life is worth living to its fullest, nettles and all.
Happy Spring, Friend! Wishing you all the fullness this season holds.