Monday, June 24, 2013

a man, a boat and some respite

I was listening to the radio this morning and I heard an interview with a man who was sitting in a boat outside his flooded home in Calgary, fishing. He said that his furnace, freezer, everything in his basement and much of his first floor were submerged in water but he was making the best of it.

"People pay thousands of dollars to do what I'm doing. How often do the fish come to you?" he asked the interviewer. "I can sit and be miserable or hang out like this and keep a smile on my face for a couple of days."

I was quite taken aback with this interview. At first, it seemed like an incomprehensible attitude to have in the face of such tragedy. But as I thought about it, I realized that not only do I understand, I can relate.

I don't actually believe that the guy has been sitting in his boat and smiling for the last few days, or that he's immune in the face of loss. He's just found something, in spite of all that's happening, that makes him happy. No matter what is going on in any of our lives, there is hopefully at least one good thing that we can cling to like a life-raft, something that brings respite while we gather our strength to face all that lies ahead.

I would never choose to have been diagnosed with cancer. I would never wish what I've been through on anyone. But there have been so very many good things - the friends and loved ones who've rallied around, things I've learned about myself and a new appreciation for all the good things - that have sustained me through the darkest times.

I hope it goes without saying that I don't think everything happens for a reason. The floods in Alberta have been horrific and terrifying. This is a tragedy of enormous magnitude.

It's just that this morning I listened to that guy, fishing in his boat while his home was underwater and I felt that I understood him.

7 comments:

Bhuvana said...

I needed to read this. Because this is on my mind. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/indian-home-minister-says-uttarakhand-flood-death-toll-over-1000-and-still-rising-8671070.html

laurie said...

I am so sorry. There are words. How awful. What's causing all this flooding?

Linana said...

I too can relate. We really do need to adjust our attitudes and make the best of what we've got. How we choose to process what is occurring around (and inside) us is within our control - even if the events themselves aren't. Happy Canada Day to you!

laurie said...

That is a perfect way to put it.

ebg said...

Hi Laurie,

Just wanted to say hi and check-in (even though I'm a total stranger) since you haven't posted anything in quite a while.

I hope all is well with you and your family.

Elizabeth

Samantha S. said...

Hi,

I just stumbled upon your blog. I wasn't sure how to reach you, but I would like to humbly ask you to consider writing a post for my blog that I recently started (http://celebrationofstrength.blogspot.com). Reading some of your posts, I can tell that you are a person whose outlook and story exactly embody what I hope to share on my blog. You have inspired me and that is the inspiration that I would love to share. You have already written quite a lot that would be great for the blog, but I certainly wouldn't want to use any of your writing without asking. If you wanted to use something you've already written, that'd be great, or if you felt inclined to write something, that would also be wonderful. I know that you are busy and have better things to do, but I hope that you might consider lending your voice. Reasons why I started the blog are explained in my introductory post. I am simply hoping to spread a glimmer of hope or something along those lines.

Thank you for your time and I wish you the very best,

Samantha

Mae Day said...

Wonderful perspective!