This sign gets my attention every time I go to Trails End. Pretty sure I have even posted a picture much like this one in the past.
It is incredibly kind that the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, and I believe the Boy Scouts, saw the need for a Life Jacket Locker at Trails End.
For anyone launching their boat at Trails End who does NOT have a life jacket, they can borrow one from the locker. All that's asked is that it be returned when they return.
But that simple sign gets me thinking every single time I see it.
After all, don't we all need a Life Zone? Could be a happy place we already have. Could be some place we always feel at home and/or safe. Could just be certain people that make us feel that way.
Wouldn't it be nice to have a locker like this at our special place? It could have a Bible in it. Other books. Perhaps bottled water.
It would be even better if we could package, somehow, our positive thoughts, kind words, hugs, pats on the back... well, I hope you get the idea.
Maybe I am just being silly or wishing for something that can't be.
Well now, that won't stop me from thinking about things like that.
I know you can't take a hug and put it in a box or a package. But, we can take a piece of paper or note card and write kind, positive, loving thoughts to leave in our Life Zone.
Perhaps some one passing by, will find just the comforting, loving words they need that day.
Or, it could be you or me, finding the same thing on just the day we really, really need to read and/or hear it.
Fanciful? Outrageous? Stupid? Silly? Waste of time?
I don't think so, but perhaps that's just me.
Then again, we don't have to have a Life Zone for doing all of the above.
Perhaps, each day, we can make an extra effort to smile more, or to say something positive or funny to those we cross paths with.
Or, if we see someone in distress, why not just a pat on their back, or a hug to show we care, we understand, and we want to help them.
So far, I haven't seen where it could possible cost us even one penny. Not one.
So, what excuses will we have to overcome to actually do that?
I don't know about you, but I find it worth it.
Just yesterday, Saturday, I had a woman from Louisiana on the phone. She doesn't live in New Orleans, but near there.
She was describing the mass destruction, massive lack of help from anyone outside of the area, and how hard life is for them right now trying to recover from Hurricane Ida.
I remember the days immediately following Hugo in Charleston. I told her that I understood what she was saying and what they are all experiencing. For the first few weeks after Hugo, it was the same thing in Charleston.
We talked even though it had nothing to do with her phone call. I let her talk and say what she needed to say.
I kept everything I was saying as positive as I could.
I even made some funnies about some of our mutual experiences. Yes, she said she appreciated any reason to smile or laugh.
We talked for over half an hour. It was the very least I could do for her.
And, before I transferred her to the department she really needed, she broke down in tears again thanking me for being so patient, so willing to listen, and for giving her reasons to smile.
It was nothing outstanding. Anyone could do the same thing. And yet, I know she was feeling a little better when I transferred her. I know I was!
That's how it works. When we give time, energy, kindness, money, a helping hand, or whatever, it DOES come back to us in ways we could never imagine.
That, that right there makes it all worth it.
If you don't understand my last sentence, you need to try it. For real! What you get back is so much more than we give. And, that feeling will last for a long, long time.
Some days, I get so much more back from smiling, laughing, sharing positive words and hugs, that I feel like my heart is going to break wide open!
If you don't know what that is like, we need to talk.
But, for now, can you make one promise to me? Just one...
Today, tomorrow, or the day after, promise you will find someone around you who looks like they need a friend. Be that! Be there Life Zone.
I don't need to hear about it unless you want to tell it.
I just want you to find a joy that is so much greater than we usually find in the course of our day.
Because I care about you.
I want you to see the world around you as a kinder and gentler place than it may be in reality.
Because if we do this together, and do this enough to the point we don't even think about saying nice things, sharing positive words, smiling, or whatever - we just do it.
Best of all, you will find you are on the receiving end of all of the above several times over!
Your heart will be so full of joy and love, you just aren't sure it can hold it all.
But it will. You will.
So, will you promise that?
And, if someone needs a Life Zone, I am here.
Until next time, stay safe, stay well, stay blessed and know someone out there loves you more than you can possibly know!