I read these words in an Anne Lamott book during the summer and I knew the phrase was a keeper. Sometimes it is the only way to get through a tough time – left foot, right foot, left foot - breathe! Just keep moving forward one baby step and a time and try to take a deep breath every now and then.
Oh goodness the A-Team's trip to Southeast Asia is a tad hard on this mother's heart, right now, and I am struggling to take one step at a time. Just the thought of them trekking around in those strange corners of the globe makes me nervous. I must admit that I am not breathing too deeply these days and probably won't be until they are home safe and sound in December.
I wandered down to the kitchen on Sunday morning to make coffee before I picked up my journal to start the day off write! Three hand-written morning-pages are the first things on my agenda each day, and I am back in the habit of doing them before I even think about anything else. Best way to start the day for me.
Still in my jammies on Sunday morning, I poured myself a huge mug full of steaming brew then headed over to the couch with it. I picked up my journal and just got nicely settled in when I realized I had left the radio on in the kitchen. Drat! I prefer to write in silence, and now that I was so nice and comfy I didn't want to move again. Hmmm? What to do? I decided to stay put and just try to block out the radio. It was in the other room after all.
A few minutes passed and AC came padding down to the kitchen for his morning coffee. Oh good, I'll ask him to turn the radio off before he heads back upstairs. He grabbed his coffee and joined me on the couch for a short visit before making tracks to the den. The radio was still on, but he would take care of it when he got up. I turned to him and asked him if he had heard from the girls. He reminded me that they were in the southern regions of Thailand and probably not near an internet cafe so we might not hear from them for awhile. As we sat there talking about the girls and their grand adventure, a news bulletin came on the radio and the announcer's words hit my heart like daggers. There had been a series of bombings in south Thailand and one Canadian had been killed! Popular tourist areas had been targeted with these bombs and many people were injured.
AC and I sat on the couch in stunned silence. My stomach did a flip and went into a knot. We listened for more details and before the end of the broadcast they announced the name of the girl who had been killed - it wasn't familiar to us. Ok, now I could breathe again, but where were the girls and were they ok? We still don't know!
I am holding onto the old saying that "no news is good news" and I am trying to remain calm. Help! Left foot, right foot, left foot, breathe. They are probably on a secluded beach somewhere and don't even know what is going on in the areas around them. Yes, that is why we haven't heard from them. They are safe and sound on a quiet beach.
On Sunday morning I sat motionless on the couch while my mind went flying to all sorts of dark places. Fear lurched up into my throat and almost choked me. Oh dear God, where are the girls?
Breathe, just sit still and breathe. This situation is completely out of my control so getting upset and worrying myself into a frazzle is not going to do anyone any good, so just sit still and breathe. In, out, in, out, in, out. Yes, that's better.
I must tell myself the truth and only the truth. Not stories my wild imagination tells me about the truth, only the truth as I know it right now. And what is that truth, the only thing that I know for sure? The girls are in southern Thailand and I haven't heard from them for a few days. That's it. Those are the only facts that I know for sure, nothing more. Anything else would be just stories my imagination might dream up.
Yesterday we heard the news that a coup had taken place in the country and tanks had moved into the capital city. Left foot, right foot, left foot – breathe! We walked around in a daze for a few minutes and then packed up and went to the park to spend a few minutes where the wood drake rests. There really is peace in wild things! We came back home somewhat calmer and moved through the rest of our day. Left foot, right foot, left foot – breathe.
On our way out to the car we noticed three of our neighbours gathered by our car chatting. They greeted us cheerily and I responded in a shaky voice. I quickly filled them in on the details and hugs were offered all around. Later that night another neighbour called and said her son was in Taiwan and he had a friend in Bangkok. She gave me the friend's email address and told me her son had contacted him about us and girls and said they could contact him at any time and he would help in any way he could. How nice to have someone to contact directly in Bangkok. Now if the girls would just contact us and let us know where they are!
Amazingly enough, I can honestly say that I am calm right now, and I am sleeping at night. Amazing! I sure would like to hear from the girls though. Until then, it is left foot, right foot, left foot – breathe.