Yesterday I was looking through the decked out first-aid kit I had bought to put in my dorm. So far, I had only used a band-aid or two for blisters, but nothing really important.
I’m never going to use any of this other stuff. I thought.
Well, last night, while I was Skyping with my family five hours away, my father told me good night with an encouragement to make sure I go out and do things other than homework and studying. So I decided I was going to go to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. At first I was going to go by myself, but then I asked Charlene if she wanted to go. She was busy.
Then, I realized this would be a perfect opportunity to invite a new character into the story of my life: Anita. Anita is a friend from church who I have not hung out with yet; therefore, I texted her and asked if she wanted to go. She told me she would let me know the next morning if she could go. I was really hoping she would be able to.
This morning, 8:00AM came rolling around and my iPod was turned up to full volume; my alarm blared through the room and made me jump out of my skin. I quickly grabbed the iPod, turned down the volume, and went back to sleep. Then, ten minutes later, my alarm went off again, louder this time. I finally just shut off the alarm so that it wouldn’t go off anymore. Once this deed was done, I went back to sleep, again.
But my rest was short-lived. My phone began ringing obnoxiously from my desk at 10:00AM, waking both me and my roommate with a start. I dramatically untangled myself from my quilt and my pillows and jumped off of my bed. Now, my bed is very high off the ground, yet I thought my legs were strong enough to catch me. However, my legs weren’t entirely awake just yet and did not catch me like I thought they were. Surely enough, when I landed on my feet my knees buckled and I skidded onto the floor, skinning my knees on the carpet. I yelled “I’M OKAY!” and launched myself toward my phone. Quickly composing my voice in only a few seconds, I answered the call with a sweet, “Hello?”
Anita was calling me to let me know that she could come. I sighed inwardly, ignoring the vulnerable, painful sensation in my knees. I tried to answer her as coherently as I could manage before telling her I’d see her at one o’clock. We said good bye, I let out a loud sigh of exhaustion, trudged over to my bed, and sloppily flopped onto my covers.
When I woke up an hour later, puss was oozing profusely from my swollen knees. Let’s just the seemingly pointless first-aid kit came in handy. Feeling like a toddler with the giant butterfly band-aids on both of my knees, I made myself publicly presentable and left my dorm to get breakfast and eventually meet up with Anita. As I walked towards the cafeteria, my phone began to go off.
I’m getting really sick of listening to that stupid ring tone. I thought to myself, reflecting on the morning’s occurrences. I answered the phone.
“Hey Hunter! It’s Stephen!”
I almost cried. I hadn’t heard my brother’s voice in four weeks and I missed him very much. Stephen has Asperger’s syndrome (an autism spectrum), a mental condition characterized by serious difficulties in social interactions. Stephen is so smart; he’s very compassionate, even if people can’t see past his social awkwardness. I can honestly say that his phone call made my day, even if we only talked for a few minutes about food and Six Flags. God has done amazing things for Stephen and through Stephen for my family. Having him at home had been really difficult; Stephen’s condition had made me and my family prisoners in our own home, even though I know it wasn’t always his fault….that’s just how Stephen was. But God worked a miracle after Stephen had been put in lock down: God worked it out miraculously so that Stephen could be put in a facility (not a heartless psyche ward where the halls are white and the people emotionless) where people genuinely cared about him and wanted him to get better and were trained to do so. It was amazing how it happened.
A few hours later I meet up with Anita. On the walk to the Botanical Garden (which was very nice, considering the cool weather of autumn), she spelled out her entire character for me without my having to ask many questions. I appreciated this, because I like it when people willingly tell me about themselves without my feeling like I’m prying or being nosy.
The Botanical Garden was beautiful. The rose garden was my favorite part, I think; I had never seen roses in so many colors. The weather really was perfect too; not humid, dry, the sun coming out every once in a while to thaw out our noses, windy, sixty-five degrees or so. Yup. Awesome.
After we’d finished seeing the Garden, we headed back. Anita and I parted halfway to campus. I headed to go buy some books for my Writer’s Studio class while she went home.
On my way back from buying the books, I saw a man and a woman on the sidewalk next to a park entrance. The woman was on a Citi Bike and the man’s hand was keeping her from moving. At first I was seized by my paranoia-driven fear that he was trying to hurt her or something outlandish like that, but as I observed a little closer, I realized that he was teaching her how to ride a bike. My heart was warmed, and I thought of how much she must trust him to let him teach her to ride a bike and how much he must love and appreciate her to be willing to do so. The way he spoke was kind, instructive, strong; she was clearly nervous, but she seemed to welcome his tenderness. These are the moments that remind me chivalry and real, innocent romance are not yet completely dead.
So today was tender, wonderful, and growing. Every moment was filled with innocence and the beauty that God wants to be shown in his creation. I couldn’t help but wonder why all days couldn’t be like today; not too many deep, complicated feelings frustrating situations, no conflicts, just appreciation for things that are what they are because what they are is innocent.
Maybe I’m just a hopeless romantic. But it’s okay 🙂
“Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, “I have no pleasure in them”; before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars are darkened and the clouds return after the rain.” -Ecclesiastes 12:1,2 (ESV)