Friday, August 14, 2009

We All Fall Down

There are some great things about living in California. There's the weather (for the most part), the ability to ski and sunbathe within hours of one another, the ocean views for sure.

But there are some scary things too. Earthquakes for one. And then, if you're like me, you may have some tsunami paranoia as well.

But the fires. The fires. Oh, the fires.

I didn't grown up with things like that. It's all new to me. Seeing it on the news from 3,000 miles away doesn't do the situation justice.

It's amazing when you first see them close up. So majestic, so destructive. The people on the news are crying because everything they've worked so hard for is gone. They're glad to find a single memento unscathed amongst the piles.

Last year, when the fires got relatively close to us, it really hit home. We were never in harm's way, but it was never far from my mind. A couple of times - I can't remember where we were headed - we flew right over the fires in Santa Barbara and Watsonville and it seemed we were close enough to feel the heat of the orange glow.

And then there's the ash.

That stuff really travels. It reminds you how close you really are. The sky changes color and the summer air looks like it's been infiltrated with snow flurries.

When you come to your car in the morning, you can see the layer that has built up while you slept.

Yesterday, when I went out for my jog, I forgot for a moment that the fires had started up again. I tried to stay on-track and pace myself, focusing on keeping constant movement in my legs, but every few minutes I'd have to wipe my eyes.

These things, itty bitty bits of ash, kept hitting me in the face and distorting my vision.

I'd wipe, they'd reappear.

In an otherwise beautiful day, they were an annoyance and a distraction.

I was quickly reminded of a recent conversation with a friend. She was talking about a dream she had and the revelation that came from it. It gave me some perspective. (It feels, lately, as if I'm getting perspective shifts daily.)

Sometimes, stuff just happens. It's not bad, necessarily. Far from the worst thing that you've ever been through, but these little inconveniences can seem so big and try to take you out.

I couldn't help but think of my baby girl as I ran. She didn't ask to be different. ("She won't know she's different if no one treats her that way," revealed the friend.) And I didn't ask for the extra that came along with the package deal. But it's far from the worst thing that's ever happened and, really, we're doing fine. We have setbacks, but we also have victories. Plenty of them. It's so unfair to the victories for us to celebrate and so quickly let them go, while the setbacks get to set up residence in our minds.

When I add a dose of perspective, it all seems to make more sense why we fight the way we do to make life as good as it can be for her.

She's worth it.

This little stuff we have going on right now? So inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. My daughter will eat and drink correctly, speak clearly, run, jump, play, make friends, read, write, learn to care for herself and others, and decide which dreams she'll chase.

Honestly, I've been pretty bummed the last few days over a myriad of little things. It all seems big right now, and I have to allow myself to feel what I feel, but it's going to be ok. It just is.


Evelyn said...


Your daughter is a cutie..she's more than a cutie, she is beautiful. :D

I understand how you feel, because I find myself wondering if my daughter will be able to do things too. Our children will be just fine and do things when they are ready. That's what I have to constantly tell myself.

Enjoyed reading your post!



Evelyn said...


I'm back! I am giving you an award. Please click the link. :D

Have an awesome day!

Lisa said...

Beautifully expressed, Chrystal. Thank you.

Hector and Jennifer Varanini Sanchez said...

So so true Chrystal! Great post.

sheree said...

this might be one of my favorite posts ever.