I once made a not so valiant effort at running away from home. I was seven. I think. It was an isolated incident as most of my childhood was pretty darn grand, but there was this one time that I had faked being sick as to avoid school.
As I am now twenty-some-odd-years removed from said day … I have no idea why I did not want to go to school. I am quite sure I had a
I was supposed to be sick. My mother had told me to stay in bed and rest. I stubbornly refused to follow her directions. Within minutes of the van leaving for school I was out of my room and trying to play. Smart, huh? You would think I could have managed at least a couple more hours of my charade in order to make it more believable, but no. My mother called my bluff and sent me back to my room. As the drive to my elementary school was approximately thirty minutes one way I am quite sure she made the decision that I would remain home … but remain in my room. If playing sick was my game then it would be the only game I played that day.
There was much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth … stomping of feet and slamming of doors. All generated by me, of course, not my mother.
I went unhappily to my room where I proceeded to pack myself a little suitcase full of clothing. Stomping through the kitchen I announced my intentions to leave and never come back. Now, I do not remember what my mother said to me as I was leaving. Her comment was in the vein of flippantly wishing me good luck in my pursuit which I am quite sure served to merely make me angrier and more determined.
Out the door I went, crossing the car park and up the steep hilled incline that served as our driveway. Our home was located on a compound with two other missionary homes that were at the top of the hill. I passed by both of them and made it to the gate of the compound … looking over my shoulder to see if my mother was coming after me. She wasn’t. I sat down. I cried. I picked up my suitcase and walked a few meters back toward the house. I sat down again. I cried more. I contemplated my decision and thought about how horrible my mother must be that she let me leave. I got up and walked half-way down the drive where I sat down again. I could see the door of my house from this location and there was still no sight of mother. I cried more … convinced I was no longer wanted. Several times I stood up and shuffled closer to the house before sitting down to pout some more. Eventually, I made my way all the way down the hill, through the door, down the hall and back into my room.
“Live your daily life in a way that you never lose yourself. When you are carried away with your worries, fears, cravings, anger, and desire, you run away from yourself and you lose yourself. The practice is always to go back to oneself.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Monk
I never tried to run away from home again. This little story reminds me that when I am feeling overwhelmed I need to stand firm against whatever adversity is facing me. Running away will not solve the problem it will merely be postponed as I will have to come back to face the consequences eventually. It is best that I stand firm in the beginning.
Brave Sir Robin ran away...
bravely ran away away...
When danger reared its ugly head, he bravely turned his tail and fled.
*I never did!*
Yes, brave Sir Robin turned about, and valiantly, he chickened out.
*Oh, you liars!*
Bravely taking to his feet, he beat a very brave retreat … a brave retreat by brave Sir Robin.
~Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Film (1975)