The past few days have been crazy in our neck of the woods. If you read the last blog post, you're aware that our youngest son, Devin, returned home from serving a two-year mission in Edmonton, Canada. He spoke in our ward last Sunday, and numerous family members and friends came for this event. Devin did an awesome job, and later on that day, we held a feast in his honor.
It was quite the Mother's Day celebration. ;) It was wonderful and exhausting all at once. It was great having all of my kids home, something that hasn't happened in quite some time. And it was fun visiting with family members and friends that we don't see that often anymore.
Yesterday was another landmark event. Most of my husband's family gathered together as the temple work for one family member was taken care of in the Idaho Falls Temple. It was a spiritual high, and yet extremely tender for many reasons. These days, life seems filled with never-ending roller-coaster rides. We were talking about riding the roller-coaster just the other day. My first experience wasn't exactly a pleasant one. I possess a fear of heights. Despite this, some well-meaning friends talked me into riding the roller-coaster at Lagoon one spring day, shortly before high school was dismissed for the summer.
We had journeyed all the way from Ashton, Idaho to Lagoon for an entertaining day. There I was, being dragged along with my friends into the line for the roller-coaster. I distinctly remember protesting, proclaiming that I would much prefer waiting on the nice safe ground while my friends placed their lives in what I considered to be danger.
They just laughed and kept a firm grip on me, stuffing me inside a cramped metal car when it was our turn to ride this "glorious" thing. "You'll be fine," I was told. Then, before I could argue that fact, the ride began. Our line of metal cars was propelled along a track, climbing higher and higher into the air. Terrified, I closed my eyes and began to pray like crazy. When the cars reached the summit, I opened my eyes and gazed with horror at what awaited us below. Certain I was about to die, I tried very hard to make my peace with God.Then without warning, the roller-coaster shot down the track at what I considered break-neck speed. Gritting my teeth, I survived. Up we journeyed again, toward the top of the next peak, only to plunge down again, repeating this process several times before the ride ended.
When it was finally over, my friends said that they had to pry my hands loose from the metal safety bar. They apologized all over the place when they saw how pale I had become. But all was not lost. In fact, I rode that same roller-coaster twice more before the day was over. I had learned to conquer fear, drawing on an inner strength I didn't know I possessed. It was quite the character-building moment for me.
I'm still not a fan of roller-coasters, but I have learned that some of what I experienced that day long ago, still applies to my life today. We all face mortal mode with some trepidation. It is a new frontier, gaining a body, learning how to control it, not to mention striving to help those around us who are floundering. Without warning, we find ourselves hurtling up toward an unknown adventure. We feel a rush at the summit, and then plummet below at a dizzying speed that takes its toll.
Highs and lows are a necessary part of our lives here on earth. We all experience our share of both, in a variety of ways. I think the trick is to learn to enjoy the ride, wherever we may be on our mortal roller-coaster. Someday it will end and we'll exit onto that final platform in a daze. There we will determine just what kind of ride we enjoyed. Good or bad, I truly believe that our attitude will affect our perspective, no matter what may come our way.
Welcome to Crane-ium: thoughts, poetry, lyrics & photography of Cheri J. Crane
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