Standing near the vortex

What was that, Mom? I can't hear you!
What was that, Mom? I can’t hear you!

Growing up in sunny California, my mom warned me not to stand too close to the edge of our backyard pool as often as she reminded me to pick up my shoes. “You’ll fall in, if you get too close,” she cautioned.

And, since we lived not far from the coast, we spent many days at the beach, which led her to forewarn each of her 9 children about the dangers of the undertow before setting us free to gather shells, build sand castles, and bury each other in the sand.

Both warnings filled me with the awareness that if you stand to close to the vortex of danger, you’ll likely slip in. I heeded her advice. Kind of. Sort of. Maybe not.

Once, I fell into the pool. I was small, very small. My mom told me our dog saved my life. I should have heeded her warning.

Then, sometime around the 5th grade, while playing in (very cold) Pacific Ocean, I was pulled under by the undertow. I can still feel the fear course through my veins as I pull up the memory, my feet pushing as hard as I possibly could against the sandy ocean floor as the waves crashed down over my head. Relief finally came as the sand slowly slipped from under my feet and the waves retreated back to sea. As much as I love the ocean, and regardless of how many times I’ve been on a boat, that panic is still with me when I’m at sea. I should have heeded my mother’s warning then, too.

Let’s just leave at this: my rebellious nature can and does often lead me astray. Like the edge of the pool and the undertow of the ocean, I should have watched from a safe distance when my dear friend Elin mentioned she was going back into the NaBloPoMo waters. I could have made a clear, “Oh no, not me!” But, I didn’t.

The idea of blogging everyday for 31 30 days has been dancing around in my head for days now, tempting me like an open box of See’s Candies. I loved and love the challenge of pushing myself to write, especially when I so easily allow life’s trivia (read: laundry) to get in the way. Perhaps, I could make a real habit out of daily writing, I mused.

I stepped closer to the edge of the pool this morning. Elin, whose smile is dwarfed only by the size of her heart, shared a post about Giving Tuesday on her blog, Beyond the Backyard Blues.  For those that don’t know, TODAY is Giving Tuesday, a day that will hopefully dominate Black Friday and Cyber Monday in spending. It is designated as a day for giving to your favorite charity or organization. Give to something you really believe in, I thought, that is worth writing about. 

I popped over to read Elin’s post, a post inspired by the always inspirational Ruth of Cranium Crunches, Elin wrote about R.I.S.E. to Empower, an organization committed to helping girls feel empowered by developing the skills that lead to a strong, healthy self-esteem. Elin has committed herself to supporting them with her time and resources.

I will be joining her by making a donation tonight. I will also be donating to an organization near and dear to my heart, Guide Dogs for the Blind. Money is tight around here, as I know it is for most families. However today I will give, not just because it is #GivingTuesday, but because I am and have been too blessed not to.

Today, I stepped near the vortex of daily blogging, and though I don’t know if I’ve been fully sucked into that black hole, I’m really glad I didn’t heed my mother’s warning.

Please consider where you can give and then open your hearts and your wallet. And, if you are reading this late, any organization will still gladly accept your donation on Wednesday, or Thursday, or…

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7 thoughts on “Standing near the vortex”

  1. Come on in Mary, the water is fine – no rip currents, no pesky edges, and friends to get your back…said the evil temptress’ minion :)! I couldn’t resist the challenge either. I love R.I.S.E. and we will have to make sure you meet Amy when you are here!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yay, that sounded more like a dive into the NaBloPoMo waters, Mary. In fact I think I feel a little bit of the splash all the way over here in California! All kidding aside, I love your post and so appreciate your lifting R.I.S.E. to Empower up yet again, while also supporting your beloved Guide Dogs for the Blind. I know I am blessed to have you in my life. xo

    Liked by 1 person

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