Last summer, my husband took me and my children to his family cabin in Colorado. It has become a much loved tradition for us: time spent away from work, cell phone service, internet, television, the hustle and bustle of life and instead, a chance to embrace the simple pleasures of life—simple meals, swimming in a river, swinging on a rope swing, biking, going for walks, bonfires, wildlife and everything that goes along with “roughing it” in a rustic setting.
My six year old spent much of his days chasing grasshoppers in the meadow after which, one night he surprised me by inviting me to tour his “Grasshopper Hotel.” I went outside to the front stoop of the cabin and saw an old coffee can and a cardboard box my son had rounded up from who-knows-where and was now using as a hotel for his grasshopper friends. I was stunned to see the popularity of his hotel, there looked to be 40 grasshoppers (or more!) in residence. I couldn’t imagine how he got them to stay—until he showed me that he removed their “jumping legs” prior to checking in to enable them to fully enjoy the hospitality of his cardboard box, coffee can and the grass and assorted weeds he picked to feed them. By bedtime, he had collected even more grasshopper customers; his hotel appeared to be teeming at maximum capacity!
The next morning my husband woke up early, went outside and was surprised to see a very plump and happy- looking bird perched on the hotel wall and EVERY SINGLE customer, but two grasshoppers, had disappeared! The bird had eaten them all.
My son was very disappointed and not too happy with the bird that had destroyed his hotel. But he went to work that very day to establish a new one: a bigger and bolder venture with more customers. I couldn’t help but think that’s how life is, or should be, if we’re living it correctly.
Life happens. Sometimes our plans get derailed or our dreams are destroyed by someone or something. Sometimes a challenge or a loss interrupts you and the plans you have made and are working toward. But do you quit? Give up? Lay down and die? Use it as an excuse for never getting past it and moving forward, stagnating or failing for the rest of your days?
I say NO.
Begin again, start over, rebuild. Carry on. Never quit. Don’t give up. Because, “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I loved through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’” (Eleanor Roosevelt)
It isn’t fun. Sometimes it’s a nightmare. But it’s worth it in the end. So, “Let us not pray to be sheltered from the dangers but to be fearless when facing them.” (Rabindranath Tagore)