Thursday, October 13, 2011



LuLu-ism #33: Why didn’t God give humans wings? Could it be that we’d groom them and posture them until they’d no longer function, no longer resemble wings but rather stiff pillars holding us to the ground?

This morning while riding my little pink bike around the ‘hood’ I saw two little girls playing on their mound system. Know what that is? It’s kind of like an underground outdoor toilet. Out here in the country we don’t have city sewer, so we dig a big hole in our yards and place our own sewer tanks in and then cover them up with lots of dirt creating this mound in our yard. Grass grows over it giving our yards this lovely contoured look. Anyway, these two girls, I’m assuming sisters, were on the top of the mound with an umbrella and the older of the two was trying to convince the younger to jump off the mound with the umbrella. You know the drill, you’ve seen Mary Poppins, all you need to fly is an open umbrella, right?

I smiled. I got past them before I could see if the little one tried it or not, but it reminded me of a childhood experience. Picture me, age five, standing on the metal railing that surrounded the porch of the church building across the road from our house. It’s a Saturday and no one is around except me and two of my little friends, both older. Yes, I have an umbrella in my hand, and yes, my friends are trying to convince me that if I jump, I will not fall to the ground like a sack of rocks. Instead, said my dear friends, I will float down ever so softly and might even fly a bit around the neighborhood before said soft landing.

I won’t keep you in suspense. Picture me splatted on the ground on top of my mother’s flattened umbrella mad as a hornet. When I came home with the destroyed umbrella, I think it was the first time it had dawned on my mom that I was going to be that child, the one who would give her gray hair. I’m sure at that moment she had a horrible vision of me one day on the roof of a garage with scissors clinched between my teeth holding a board of rusty nails getting ready to leap off into a cup of water simply because some friend either told me I could or that I couldn’t and I was going to see for myself.

Childhood, it’s a grade B miracle that we even survive it. However, what a lovely way to start out in life, convinced you can do anything you set your mind to. What happens to that gumption we once possessed as children—that fearlessness, ever so misguided at times, but nonetheless had us convinced we could conquer the world?

At age 60, I say it’s time I got it back. Who’s with me? Who’s as tired as I am of cowering in the corner of life afraid of what folks will think of us if we step outside the lines, if we do something unexpected, but that gives us joy?

Hey, I’ve got an umbrella. I’ve got a garage. Anyone game?



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