Packing for Stormy Weather

We’ve looked at what to put in our packs as we’ve traveled through a Lenten journey. We need to look at what was already in our packs when we started.

I sat in an extremely contentious meeting a few weeks ago. Members, arguing their points, were civil, but the tone of their words sliced like switchblades.

The leader tried to bully the factions into a consensus. I watched this unfold, wondering how a person could ever prepare for such a train wreck as this meeting?

I had a similar thought this weekend, as we were hiking high up in the mountains. Snow had obliterated the trail. Footprints turned around until we were following only one set of tracks. Soon, we doubted if this person knew where he/she was going. How could we be sure we didn’t get lost?

We had asked ourselves the same question: (how do you prepare for a catastrophe) a month ago, as we attended a class taught by a former Airforce survival instructor. Fortunately, he taught simple rules instead of goofy snake rhymes like: red, and yellow kills a fellow; (Which was completely useless when I stumbled over a snake with multi-colored rings a year ago. I almost danced off the trail, yelping at an innocent King snake.)

So we prepare by practicing. The familiarity makes the panic go away. Every soldier, sports figure, and pianist knows practice helps a person scramble up to the next step in ability.

In a perfect world, there would be no idiots where you worked. All trails would be snake-free and clearly marked.  And there would be NO need for meetings.

Unfortunately, this meeting took place in the real world, but it made me smile as I realized each of us had practiced for this moment. We carried everything we’d ever learned to this decision-making instant. Good. Bad. Accurate. Skewed. We brought all of our life experiences to bear on our present moment. We eventually hammered out an unsatisfying agreement. Each of us had to give up something.

Like most folks, I try to avoid difficult situations as though they were  snakes. But I’m getting better at putting on my big-girl cargo pants and “staying put” to sort the venomous from the non-poisonous situations. I’m finally learning it’s the rough roads and cloudy skies that will teach me more and fill my pack.

Someday…I might even start looking forward to the lessons.

About Barb

I escaped from a hardscrabble farm in Oklahoma. I'm not sure why people think I have an accent. I miss the sunshine, but not the fried foods.
This entry was posted in Choices, Enough, Hope, Lent, Life, Traveling, Worries and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Packing for Stormy Weather

  1. Alice Lynn says:

    Interesting, isn’t it, how our brains are hard wired to react when encountering snakes and contentious or hostile human beings? I love hearing how you can laugh at such encounters and then learn from them!


  2. digipicsphotography says:

    Did you know there are 6 poisonous snakes in the U.S. and Florida is home to all of them. The other 49 states only have a few of each.


  3. Rose Lefebvre says:

    I always thought it was ‘Red AGAINST yellow kills a fellow.’ If you look at the non-venomous snake, the red does not touch the yellow. Of course, when I see a snake I am not staying put long enough to try to make sure!!!!! In that moment the rhyme will dart out of my mind and I will dart away right after it!


  4. digipicsphotography says:

    Ahhh…the art of compromise. Everyone gets something, but not everything.


  5. Roxie says:

    Looking forward to the lessons? Wow, this I can not imagine. Being ready to embrace the lessons is about the peak of my aspirations. So what, fer krynoutloud, were you doing hiking in the snow? You’re a MUCH braver person than I am!!


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