When I’m feeling blue and my energy is seeping away through every pore, my mind drifts in seemingly random directions… Outside my window, a scrum of unruly teens all engaged in distracting an ice-cream truck driver just long enough to make away with the frozen contents of his freezer – The bluest of skies plays host to two remarkably poodle-shaped clouds which I am fixated on until they join together to become one far less interesting wooly blob. Aimlessly, I begin counting and then recounting the grey and white tiles on the floor that appear to have faces embedded in their splatter pattern. I snap back to earth feeling out of sorts. Nothing is wrong but nothing stands out as a game changer either. The feeling is grey and foggy, shrouded like a mid-March morning. Stephen Hawking suddenly makes his presence known. WHAT? He recently died after a fifty-year battle with ALS. Truly unheard of… He’s looking straight at me. Piercing intelligence darting from his eyes. He is snaggle-toothed, shriveled and deformed and so much a part of our collective memory. He’s a genius, plucky and resolute to go beyond the body that has been determined to thwart him. He is a true seeker. A puzzle solver and door opener, never a complaint, just acceptance and indefatigable determination. Why is he here? Why is he so focused on me? Is he an angel? Is he my angel? Is he here to slap me upside my head? How dare I feel sorry for myself? How dare I think I have any real problems? I have four functioning limbs, a strong spine, along with a relatively good head on my shoulders. Nothing compared to the great and brilliant apparition looking into my very soul. My revelation comes like a blast of wintery air. He is here. I am to look at him – really look at his shriveled body and see that my problems are not problems. They aren’t even challenges. They are the bumps on the road of life. That’s it. That’s all. I have everything. I’m just low on gratitude for all the gifts I already possess.
Thank you Mr. Hawking for reminding me.