Dissonance. Incongruity. A controversy in what sounds right or makes sense. Two ordinaries, totally normal by themselves, but when paired together, well, gets your attention. A lack of acceptable harmony between notes. Peanut butter and pickles. A dog in a full-size baby stroller. A man’s earlobes stretched large enough to encase a bangle bracelet. Things that just don’t typically go together.
In general, it boils down to sounds, tastes, sights, and functions that are not common to you and yours. It this case, boils up might be the better phrase.
Hunkered down in the heart of the Colorado Mountains, delight was the dessert of the day. A picture of majesty framed by the White River National Forest. The earth giving its gift. The Ute Native Americans called it, Yampah (Big Medicine). Our recent homeschool studies identified it as geothermal power. The folks in Glenwood Springs, CO call it the springs. The world’s largest mineral hot springs. A massive 1,071,000 gallons natural waterworks bubbling from the earth’s core cooled to a comfy ninety-degree laps of lusciousness. Known world-wide as healing waters. A perfect gift from our creator. One gigantic public bathtub, except with bathing suits…of course. Although, there were other hot springs offered for the fearless and liberated. Yikes!
One by one we filed in. Our brains trying to compute and adjust to the warm water, bathing suit, outside scenario. Do we dive down and do the whole shoulder acclamation trick or just walk around and smile at people? The waters, dark and murky. Mineral deposits had developed upon the edge of the pool like smooth marbled rocks layered from the laps of escaped waves.
Just when our senses adjusted to this new and completely foreign experience, to six Indiana flat-land Hoosiers, our eyes zeroed in on the familiar. There in the distance, hanging high over the steaming people bath, a DIVING BOARD! Angel choir…Ah!
Adventure! Something to do beside sloughing around and awkwardly smiling at super relaxed looking people. And should I mention the general concern of “super relaxed looking people” in a warm water pool? I shouldn’t.
We made our way over and out, steaming hot bodies all in a line ready to jump. (Now that is the first time anyone has ever described me or my husband as steaming hot! Thank you self.)
The boys, of course, began the Cannon Ball Olympics. Who can make the biggest waves, splash the poor little life guard, and rain water outside the perimeter of the pool. I just wanted to be able to get enough lift off the board so I didn’t look like an anchor plummeting into the abyss.
Standing at the edge of the board my mind flashed back to my five-year-old self. I stood in my pink and yellow swimsuit hovering over the eight-foot deep end of Aunt Barb’s swimming pool. The thrill of the moment. The bounce of the board. The sensation of flying without wings and free falling into the safety of the water. That moment of wistful abandonment, I wanted to trade my legs and arms for wings and fins. I wanted to taste the thrill of what if. I had faith that my body would rocket to the top just as soon as I hit bottom. Again and again my thirst for that take-your-breath-away moment would convince my four-foot frame to jump.
That afternoon at the hot springs a scene, sort of out place, not altogether common occurred.
A beautiful uncommon.
After I jumped I noticed an older lady climb out of the pool and make her way over to the diving board. There was a marked look of trepidation laced with determination in her mood. She shot a glance over to a lady who looked to be her daughter. It seemed to say, “I’m going to do this, so make sure you’re watching!” And she was watching. We were all watching!
Holding on with both hands to the rails, she made her way to the tip of the diving board. She hung her silver topped head over the edge and looked down into the depths. In one quick eye-to-eye with her daughter, she bounced once and then… FREEDOM!
From the second her feet left the stability of the board, her countenance told the story of a little girl reconnecting to a joy moment. A lemonade afternoon with nothing but hope and a sense of all things good. It was a beautiful scene. I wondered if I was the only one, besides her daughter, who was privy to the miracle. A miracle of restoring a moment and mood. I still smile when I replay this memory.
I waded through the pool a few more times and thought of her face. The sense that she was returning, even for a moment, to a joy she had once experienced. I thought of the joy of our salvation. I wondered how many walk the walk. Punch their religious time cards. Look and smell the part, but have forgotten the thrill and satisfaction of the joy and glory they knew when they first accepted Christ into their hearts.
There’s an old song we used to sing, “Bring Back the Glory”. (Steve Green) The words speak truth.
All the laughter is gone and the sounds of the song that we sang slowly faded away
Simple joys that we knew when we walked close to you hand in hand in the cool of the day
Are just memories or are they dreams
Yet we hold to the hope that the music will come back again
Bring back the glory, won’t you show us what life is for
Bring back the glory, make us like you once more
Bring back the music, the trust, the wonder that’s just like a child who has never known pain
Bring back the glory, bring back the glory, bring back the glory
The glory again
The line for me-like a child who has never known pain. While we can’t undo life, we can glory in the good and marinate our minds on miracle moments and live well in the interlude.