A few years ago, I saved a life. No, I didn’t pull a baby out of a burning building or give someone CPR. Nothing that dramatic. All I did was pick up a little worm that was struggling across my patio and lay him (or her?...how can you tell?) in the soft wet grass. I wrote about how this seemingly insignificant act had great meaning for that oligochaete. The reason I bring this up today is that I swear I saw him (her?... how do you tell?) the other day under the patio chair and I do believe he/she/it nodded as if to say “thanks” before squirming into the yard.
There are some days we may feel just like that worm. For some reason known only to that Big Gardener in the Sky, we find ourselves struggling across some tough pavement. The sun may be beating on our backs. The concrete is getting dryer and we are starting to think it would be a whole heck of a lot easier to just shrivel up and quit. Maybe it doesn’t look like anybody is going to come by and lift us up into that cool lawn.
This may have hit home for those of us in the Boomer demographic. We are seeing our investments, if we have any, taking a nose dive unprecedented in modern economic history. There may be a lay off involved, and the subsequent deleterious effects of the ending of medical coverage, danger of mortgage default, and the sheer loss of something meaningful to do with our days. It could be a decline in health…hey, we ain’t getting any younger, sports fans. Or troubles with grown children, for whom we never really stop being mom and dad, no matter how old or far away they may be. Of course, we seasoned citizens have no corner on this market of difficulties. Those raising families face equally challenging issues such as child care and schooling and what the heck to feed this gang of mongrels who will not get off my leg for one sweet second so I can sneak downstairs and do a load of laundry before we all end up wearing plastic bags to church!
Whatever the burden, we may be looking for that somebody to pick us up off the steamy pavement. Whether this comes in the form of a kind word, a favor, or a few bucks to tide us over, the help would be welcome.
Still, none of this may happen. Then, it just takes perseverance. As in all things, bad and good, this situation we find ourselves in is temporary. And like good old Mr. or Mrs. Worm (does anyone out there know how you can tell?! Seriously!), we need to just keep on wiggling, hoping for that lift, but willing to crawl it out if need be.
In 1941, during the worst period of the German bombing of Great Britain, Winston Churchill spoke to students at his former school. That speech became one of great inspiration and hope to the beleaguered English citizenry.
His words can be ours, as we fight the good fight against what may seem like insurmountable odds.
“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never.”
(from "A Boomer's Journal, Suburban Journals of St. Louis, MO May, 2009)