Posts Tagged ‘courage’

Larry Visits…Bay Point

1 May 2021

Bay Point is a suburban area built on the hills (former cow pastures) overlooking Carquinez Strait.

It is served by a BART station and a little mall.

High voltage power lines run right through the middle of Bay Point, the towers normally situated on hills that seem to have the ideal spacing for this purpose.

I first came here to meet a new friend in person.

Bench at BART station where we first met in person.

Very obvious in the distance in the above picture is one of the hills bearing power line towers. In fact, I believe it is the hill.

The Hill

My friend told me there was a park somewhere in the neighborhood, and as I had some time for a walk, I went looking for it. After walking for a mile or less, I found it.

It was right at the base of one of these hills bearing the towers. Could I get to the hill from here? I saw someone climbing up, so I knew I could.

The next hill over looked very similar, but had no such access. This park had a paved trail for walking, running or biking, and from this trail there were some bare dirt paths leading up the hill.

The park.

Climbing the hill was a relatively small challenge. I had only been up there a few minutes when three more people joined me, and the couple looked older than I am! You can see that the park includes a lower play field and an upper area with tennis courts, a half basketball court, and a children’s playground. I took photos of the entire panorama:

Then I went down to the upper part of the park to rest in the shade. Looking back up towards the hill, I had this view:

It was a group of kids sitting or playing at the base of the nearer dirt path up the hill. Along with a woman, who I had seen earlier, climbing up the path.

The hill climber

I figured she was the mom of these kids. Either that or their baby sitter. But I will call her their mom. I waited, and she returned and talked to them for a while before starting up the trail once again.

An older boy and two girls were sitting calmly working with a laptop. I think they were learning English (they spoke Spanish). There were also two boys who just wanted to play.

This woman must have climbed up and down that hill at least five times while I was there. A real athlete! Before I left, she had the two little guys who couldn’t sit still put their shoes on, and then she took them up with her.

The tragedy

The only really unusual thing about this park was this sign, attached to the fence that surrounded the tennis court. All I could tell about this was that a guy named Kyle had died when he was 19 years old, just that past summer.

I looked up the name when I got home. It turned out that Kyle was one of four young people from this area who had died in a freak car accident. The car had gone out of control while approaching the Carquinez Bridge (the other one, near Crockett). There were many witnesses; even some dash cam footage was posted. The car had somehow gone sideways in the road, then sped up and gone right over the cement embankment at the side of the bridge, and had then plunged 200 feet onto a train car that was sitting on the tracks below. All four in the car were killed. They were all young like Kyle, all from different local families.

Life is full of courage and tragedy. You can find these anywhere if you look. But I was surprised to find both on the same day, here in a quiet Bay Area suburb.

Two Bags of Gifts

23 December 2020

I have for you two bags of gifts. Both are given freely. But one of them you must reach for.

The first bag contains my love. It is unconditional and lasts forever. It is yours whether you want it or not! The door to my love is always open. It is always offered to you. It cannot be shut.

The other bag contains knowledge, wisdom and pleasure. These are all things you must decide about. They are offered on the condition that you reach, that you decide you want them. There is some risk in reaching for these things. And to benefit from these things you must be willing to commit a certain amount of time and energy. So reaching for them takes some courage.

Fear

Why would anyone not want knowledge, wisdom and pleasure?

What a grand mystery of life! There must be some fear connected to these things. Yes, sad but true, there is.

Knowledge is feared for the responsibilities it puts on your shoulders. You are likely to feel shame if you gain knowledge then never use it to help others, or never even offer it.

Wisdom is feared for the success it brings. How audacious for any human being to think he could succeed in the face of death! How awful to laugh at death for the pale and tiny menace that it actually is! How bold to suggest that we could be winners in the games of life! In the end we are all supposed to lose, aren’t we?

Pleasure is feared for its affirmation of the supremacy of life over the merely physical. There is only pleasure in survival. There is only pain in the failure to survive. How dare we assert our desire to survive! How dare we insist that the games of life must continue, in spite of all signs and warning flags that they are too dangerous to be played! How dare we enjoy living!

Fear is ever-present around us. It is like a virus that can infect anyone. Some become infected and totally succumb to the infection. While they survive they are the “criminals” of society. They lie, they cheat, they steal. They work all day and all night to bring others down to their level. They are afraid of everyone around them, for no good reason. They are convinced that no one else can be trusted, that they have no choice but to be what they have become and act like they do. They are insane.

The rest of us must deal with these ones, the totally lost, and as well with our own lesser sicknesses. Most of us want to do right and don’t want to do wrong or hurtful things. Some of us, though, succumb at times to the illness. We let our fears ruin things that are valuable to us. Our passions, our marriages, our ways of living, our friendships – our lives – can all be destroyed if we let in too much fear.

Some of us let fear into our lives in the form of someone else gone crazy with it. If we don’t recognize when this happens and act accordingly, our lives can easily be ruined. Our health can fail, our bodies can become broken by accidents and injuries and sicknesses, our good friends and our great loves can be stolen from us.

Courage

Though courage has been described in many ways, what it amounts to is the willingness to face Fear and work to conquer it. It is the willingness to “get well” in spite of all temptations, all reasons why, one should stay sick.

It is the ability to see Fear warn you against doing something pro-survival and to disagree with that warning.

Courage begins with recognizing fear for the false protector that it is, then to use knowledge, wisdom and pleasure to rid your life of it.

Courage broadens and deepens as you walk out into the world and embolden others to face up to their fears and defeat them.

Your courage may not be rewarded with praise or thanks. But it will be rewarded with happiness, with friendship, and with a sense of self that can become unshakably strong. Your courage can help you to manifest your love more completely, more unconditionally. And that is what you, your loved ones, your groups, your species, your ecosystem, your universe, your Spirit and your God need the most from you.

Your love is ever-present. With courage it manifests and becomes more and more powerful.

Don’t deprive this world of your love! Use courage to conquer your fears! And help me bring life fully back to our universe!

There are two bags of gifts offered you today. You may choose either, both, or none. What will be your choice?