My junior or senior year in high school I was running late to school thanks to another migraine. I dragged my drugged-up rear into the car and focused through the remaining pain. I feared going to school after migraines because it always meant nausea and pain, and it always meant I took the risk of an accident during the 45 min drive each way with my drugged-up vision and took the risk of being stuck with a second or third migraine either on the road or at school.
I tucked that slightly freaked-out part of me inside and pulled out of the driveway. I reached the crest of the hill my family lived on when I slammed on the brakes, right in the middle of the street.
In the sky was the most stunning sunrise I’d ever seen. Dramatic orange and gold egg-carton clouds billowed over foothills and mountains, a silhouetted house rose in the distance.
This is the one benefit of pollution–breathtaking colors.
I’ve never seen another sunset or sunrise like it, and I’ve never been able to capture it in paint, even if I use straight cad orange.
While I would officially never never EVER recommend driving to school on a migraine OR driving while on migraine meds in general, I will say that if I hadn’t ignored my fear I would never have seen that sunrise. I still treasure the memory of it today.
What caught my attention in this stanza as I sat to write this was how scared the shepherds must have felt. Angels are freaky things. They aren’t the cute naked-butt smiling babies so often painted throughout history. They scare people until the recipients of their amaze-balls-ness fall over in stunned terror.
And yet something so crap-freaky is supposed to be the bringer of goodness and hope.
I doubt those shepherds were buying it.
I bring this up because I wonder how many times in my life I’ve run across symbolic angels–something that is supposed to be good and beautiful and yet fills me with crap-freakiness. So I’ve tucked-tailed and bolted.
I wonder how many good, hopeful things I’ve missed out on because I’ve been too frightened to stay through the crap-freaky.
(I’m not saying migraines are symbolic angels and if I can tough-it-up-cupcake there will be good in the end. I’m sure as hell not saying that.)
But I do wonder if I can look for those angels this winter, identify them, and gather the courage to stay until the end. Because maybe there will be another sunrise at the end.
Or chocolate. I’d be just as content with chocolate.