Friday, October 21, 2016

If You Love Something, Set it Free: The Mosquito Bite Story

It is no big secret that my students and ex-students and colleagues and friends and I serve dinner to Veterans at Veterans Village a few times a month.

 Some weeks I cook huge batches of jambalaya, spiced chicken or curried vegetables. Some weeks I make fancy cakes with swirls and strawberry.  Some weeks I don't cook at all.

This story isn't about cooking.

The room we serve dinner in at Veterans Village is pretty small -- basically it is what you might expect in college-type apartment with a shared common area and 4 bedrooms only for this apartment each bedroom has been turned into an social worker's office and one of the bedrooms was become the food closet.  It is perpetually half empty, filled with too much corn and green beans, the adjacent unused  bathroom is stacked waist high with donated paper and linen and plastic odds and ends left in limbo.

More often than not is pretty darn stuffy so  I usually kept a cold water bottle close to me to keep me chipper for the event.

For awhile I was carrying my super posh way too expensive -- but it was a gift - treasured silver insulated bottle with me -- remember it? the one that keeps ice icy for 24 hours? the one I like to ironically carry like an Olympic Torch when I go running and can't go faster than 13 minutes a mile?

Two weeks ago I left that favorite treasured water bottle at Veterans Village.

I realized it was gone before I'd made it all the way home and ugh. There was no one to call, no one to notify, and honestly, if anyone at Veterans Village wanted my magical amazing posh futuristic water bottle I would've given it to them because it is a spiritual lesson to practice the belief that real treasure should be shared.

So I let my favorite posh water bottle -- the most amazing thing God invented, besides you -- go, praying that it would be used to bless someone.

Every time I missed it (oh, and I DID MISS IT DON"T LET ME KID YOU HERE) I imagined someone much thirstier than myself taking a long cold drink and being incredibly thankful for finding the magic bottle.

I told myself every single day every single time when I missed that bottle that if you love something, you should set it free.  No joke, I said that, I tried. I practiced letting go and being ok with things being gone, even when it didn't come easily.

Ya'll would be proud of how hard I try to be a grown up in my head.

A few weeks ago I found myself coping with 17 mosquito bites on one arm and a crazy sane voice in my head asked myself to consider what if blessings *had* to be delivered by mosquito bites.

 What if, right?

All the sudden those itches turned into sacred torture and then disappeared.

 I'll let you know about the 17 blessings as they appear,  I'm ready to start counting.

Back to the story about the super posh too expensive to ethically replace water bottle.

I bought myself a cheaper, off label, larger insulated bottle on Amazon in attempt to distract my heart from my beloved bottle and tried to go on with my life. No, it didn't keep the water as cold. No, the ice didn't stay icy, but it closed super tight and secure and that's worth something. Something.

Last night as my students and I  were cleaning up from dinner at Veterans Village,  I turned to help one of my students who  was stacking extra portions of dessert in the refrigerator and noticed something shiny on the inside of the fridge door.

It was my precious posh amazing super favorite water bottle.

It had been waiting for me.

 I grabbed it and cheered,  my faith in humanity restored and buoyed, and 100% ready to report on  16 more blessings as they show themselves.