Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Segway Pics

   Me and Deborah Sue

Matched my helmet to my Chucks...LOL

White shirt...Captain Dave

Monday, June 16, 2014

New Beginnings

“There is a number between the handlebars; remember which one is yours.” This was just one of the tips Captain Dave, our Segway tour guide gave us. Mine was number eight, the number of new beginnings. At that moment I knew that the team building outing would have significance for me on many levels. To begin with, I had never been on a Segway so, check, that was new. Nor had I been on a team building event with this group of colleagues before; check; new. But I was certain that there was much more to come. Like the song says “maybe God is trying to tell you something.” There was no maybe to it. I knew He was. And I was all ears.

There’s a method to using the Segway. It is battery powered and works on a principle of balance. You cannot ride it standing on one foot. But as long as both feet are on board you can crouch down and ride it or turn around and face backwards while it goes forward, like skating backwards. Either of those two maneuvers requires the skill of Captain Dave, but it was easy to see how it could be done if you honored the principle: both feet on board. Bend both knees at the same time to take a bump in the road. Lean slightly to make a right or left turn. Lean back to stop. And if you push Mr. Segway too close to his ten mile an hour limit, he’ll put a stop to your foolishness with his automatic braking system. After a fifteen minute training and practice session, off we went!

Let me interject here that being more artistic than athletic, had I organized the event it would have been a play, a concert or even a museum visit. And if, perchance, I had considered an outdoor activity it would have been a bus, boat or walking tour; a Segway would never have entered my mind.  The exhilaration I felt as we rode was, I’m sure, amplified by my low expectations. This was not my thing, you know? So how could it possibly be this good to me?

I mean, it was OMG good!

It was the perfect day: a bright June morning under the bluest of skies, low seventies, no humidity or wind. The deluxe tour covered the riverfront, lakefront and the majestic museum campus. Could it get any better? Umm humm.

As we rode through the city’s grand scenery with the Captain sharing Chicago history at strategic stops, the OMG in my spirit grew exponentially. It appeared with exclamation points, then in bold type, then italics and in 48, 64, and 72 fonts. It wasn’t just taking in the sites from the vantage point of the Segway that invoked the ever-increasing exclamation. It was the growing realization that I was receiving an answer to my prayer-question about how to finesse this new season of my life: listen to the Captain, keep both feet on the ‘ground’, lean into it and enjoy the ride…’cuz there is joy in the ride.

And when you get to the other side, to the destination – because there is a destination – you’ll bring your newness to the new thing and…


Friday, June 6, 2014

Upon Investigation

Upon investigation, one might find that you have unique-to-unusual strengths and abilities that, although you use them every day, are hidden to the casual observer. Kinda like the hummingbird. The only bird that can fly backwards, upside down, sideways and oh yes, forward.  A tiny little thing that can fly great distances to migrate -- up to 2,500 miles in a non-stop trip -- but cannot walk. A fierce defender of its pea-size eggs and its territory that can route a raptor many times its size. Whose humming sound comes not from its diaphragm, but from wings moving 70 times per second in a figure-eight motion.  Wise enough to choose the right flower to heal what ails them. Iridescent and jewel-like. Fascinating to see in action. Hummingbirds are symbolic of effervescence and joy, perseverance and grace, infinity and new beginnings.  Look to the right of this page. Hummingbird.

Letters to Elect Ladies is written to the real you who even you forget about as you traverse the everydayness of life or the intrusion of a crisis. Not to the wannabe or strive-to-be, but the made-to-be; full of purpose and practice and perseverance. Like the hummingbird. A friend of mine received a diagnosis that he responded to in an uncharacteristic way. His wise and good wife exhorted him to “get up and do what you would normally do today,” releasing him back to the joy of life and the hope-filled future that is his modus operandi. The mission of Letters is like that word of life, those apples of gold in pitchers of silver that the good wife spoke to her husband. 

You, my friend, are a rare phenomenon with powers of flight and an expression of life like none other. Like the hummingbird. The real you may indeed be hidden to the naked eye. And that is probably a good thing, at least to some degree. But just because some can’t see you for who you know you are is no reason not to Be… the Real You.

Karen Stark

*that’s the sound of my wings