Saturday, March 5, 2011

Jack be Nimble, Jack be Quick


I have said before that I am not a night person. After about 8:00 pm my brain and body quickly shut down as they enter into sweet slumber. Well, this week, I experienced an amazing physiological phenomenon...adrenaline. My casual, East Coast, domestic life rarely involves the hype and excitement regular to Navy Seals and big city ER doctors. I'm not accustomed to the fight or flight decisions...more like instant or perked? ...and I haven't seen 3:00 am since I had babies. I don't miss it.

I reluctantly awoke to a conspicuous beeping sound around 1:00 am. Upon a blurry scan of the other side of my bedroom door, by body transformed instantly. Our house was filled with smoke and I met adrenaline.We didn't take time to shake hands and small talk...it just picked me up and carried me along for a dreamlike ride. The next 15 minutes or so involved feelings, visions and scents that I'm not yet sure I want to remember. God given, mama bear instincts got my 4 babies out of our burning house...which was not yet consumed by fire, but saturated with enough smoke to make eyes and lungs revolt. Shaking fingers pressed 911 on the hot phone...twice...I actually messed up those 3 little numbers on the first try. Papa bear was doing what he could to put out the small fire starting around the wood stove pipe, not at all aware that the outside wall of the house was already ablaze and beyond water bucket's help.

Once we were outside, cuddled up together in the cold, silent unreal night, the adrenaline seemed to vacate as quick as it moved in. Standing there with my family, watching nature take it's uncontrolable course, I felt an amazing sense of happiness and hope. Yes, the house was still burning and I was verbally entreating my Heavenly Father to slow the flames and save our sweet little home, but I was delighted. Delighted that I was holding all four of my shivering, distressed children. Their fearful faces glowed in the firelight and I was thrilled to be able to wipe away the tears, smile in their eyes and ease their worries. Warming their panicked bodies, singing choruses to fill them with hope and celebrating with them as the first firetruck pulled up to the house. So very thankful to continue being Mom.

Teetering on the edge of tragedy is unnerving, but there was no tragedy. It did not happen. Only five minutes separated the two tales, but only one was told. A glimpse of imagination tries to rattle reality, but cannot take it's place. I entertain the imagination just enough to protect the future and to preserve gratitude, but not to continue in fear. I know the Master of the Universe. He created fire, water, wind and earth. The winds and the waves obey him. He cannot do anything but love me, even if I don't understand His ways. Trusting Him is the absolute answer to peace and happiness, but doesn't come easily. In order to have faith we must experience doubt. I have to stand in the face of fear in order to find courage.

I will never be a thrill seeker. I will never enjoy the rush of skydiving, race car driving or storm chasing, but I have a great appreciation for adrenaline. That wonderful little biochemical turned a midnight zombie into a thinking, functioning woman of action...but there are side effects. Sleep does not come to one who has had a recent encounter with the little tyrant. My later motionless body was still a frenzy on the inside. Like most parties, the clean up takes awhile...but in this case, it was well worth it :)


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