Before I begin, just a side note. I am writing this early tonight. I can’t watch the election results. No way, no how. So, I am going to write… and then turn it all off for the rest of the evening. I’ll probably just hang out and draw for a couple of hours. With music in my ears.
So tonight, I was thinking about when I was a little girl. We learn some lessons when we are young. And the thing that came to mind was the Great & Powerful Orrellss. You know it …. this monster we all have encountered, at one time or another. Orrellss.
I am not sure if it is a monster, or an entity, or what. But the power of that thing is remarkable.
I think I’ve recounted this story before, but nonetheless. It was hot, hot summer. I am not sure how old I was. But little ruffian Polly was outside playing like crazy… as always. Most of the time, my sister Julie was involved, somehow or another.
There we were, probably in a game of Pickle, or Tackle Football, or something….. with the rest of the neighborhood ruffians. And. The boys all had their shirts off. Great idea. It was hotter than Jamaica in July.
So Julie and I took off our shirts. And it was better. Cooler.
My Mom happened to see this, somehow. Most likely… a neighbor “rang her up” and told her. Who knows. At any rate, she came right in the middle of the game and told us, rather forcefully, to put our shirts back on . “But Mom, it is hot out.”
This made her even madder. And then the monster appeared. “YOU girls put your shirts back on RIGHT NOW…. ORRELLSS.” We never questioned it. We didn’t say… “Orrellss WHAT?” We just put our shirts back on.
Then we had to go home. Once there, Mom told us we were never to take our shirts off again when we were outside… or anywhere else in public. I complained that this was simply not fair. The boys were allowed to take their shirts off. “That is different,” she said. “How?” I asked. “Young Lady. Do not ask me another question about this. ORRELLSS.”
Crap. That hairy son-of-a-beach was back again.
Of course we never took our shirts off again in public. We would just pull them up over our heads, and tuck them behind our necks…. so that our arms were still in, but we were pretty much bare chested. We were not disobeying. We were improvising. Technically, the shirts WERE still ON.
Mom found out about this too. Annnnnd….. Second verse… same as the first.
But the thing that I am correlating this story with…. is Acceptance.
We had to accept this apparent injustice. It was the only way, at that point and time in our lives. It was our only option.
Many years later, I have come to know the Serenity Prayer. And again, I visit this prayer here, with you, tonight in my reflections.
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
As I can not watch the election results, as I think about certain injustices in the world, as I sit here in my home, full of worry… I have to call on that prayer. Because tonight, there is nothing for me to change. So tonight, I must find acceptance, with whatever the outcome maybe be.
And please. Serenity.