Like Someone Left the Gate Open

In my day job I deal in life and death and everything in between. This is both a wonderful gift and a horrible curse. It makes me thankful for each and every moment, but it also makes me a worrier.

For the most part, my days at work are predictable — predictably busy or predictably slow. Occasionally, though, a day becomes anything but predictable, and I find myself orbiting around another’s absolute worst nightmare, fluttering, hovering, gently landing now and then, all the while doing my best to exert the sort of gravitational pull that changes the course of events. In those times when I am able to nudge the trajectory in a favorable direction, I breathe a sigh of relief, say a word of thanks, and smile a little smile before I move on to what I hope to be a more predictable remainder of my shift.

Sometimes, though, no matter the monumental effort from me and those around me, the path to the celestial light pulls too heavily at a young soul, one who should be decades away from any experience with its call. And that soul goes to it. In those times, the remainder of the shift and often the following days and weeks become whirlwinds of worry. Suddenly I hold tighter to everything, terrified that those things I love most will be ripped from me.

But it’s in those days, too, that the sky seems bluer and I can feel even the most gentle breeze on my cheek. I breathe deeply and savor the sweet smell of honeysuckle, count the twinkles of the lightning bugs and the colors of the lingering sun on the horizon. I snuggle closer with my fellas and leave my phone in the car. And when the time comes for me get running? I hit the ground like someone left the gate open.

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