|Photo Description: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
I was trying to remember how old I was when I learned that there wasn't a Santa in the suit and reindeer sense. I think I was 9 years old. Most kids in my class had told me that there was no Santa, teased me for still believing, and acted all sophisticated in their certain knowledge that Santa was a made up story for kids. But me, I had no trouble believing when others didn't. I had no troubled with their sense of certainty. I think that year, Santa, or the Spirit of Santa, was morphing in my mind to the idea of Santa.
This is an odd thing, I suppose, to be thinking about on your birthday. But, when you are born at a time of trees and tinsel and carols and cookies, it's hard not to be overtaken by that other kid's birth. So I sat on the end of the bed, all freshly showered, getting ready to shave, and thought about Santa. I thought about how at certain ages we are supposed to stop believing in certain things - the fairy tales of life.
I thought about how many people suggest that by thirty you no longer believe in kindness, by forty you no longer believe in love, by fifty you no longer believe that anything matters, by sixty you no longer believe that you had a purpose at all. Call me naive, many have, but, like with the idea of Santa, I still believe. I believe it all matters, somehow, that we all matter somehow and that God or not, Heaven or not, here is still here and my responsibilities here are still responsibilities.
My power chair broke down this weekend. Suddenly my life became so much smaller. My world shrunk and ended at the apartment door. Joe and I have chatted about options and strategies over the next few days. I have things to do, things that only my hands can do. I need to do them, I want to do them, because there are people depending on me, needing me, expecting me to fulfil my role in their world as they fulfil their role in mine. Santa has a role in my life, but then so does kindness and love and believing things matter. And because of all that my broken down chair needs to take it's place, in proper proportion, in my life. It's an inconvenience, I don't like any of the strategies or solutions we've come up with, but I'll use them.
Because the chair can't tell me to give up or get down.
It's just a chair.
Santa wouldn't give up on Christmas because, say, it's foggy. He'd find Rudolph.
And, feeble as it may be, that's my plan too.