Monday, April 20, 2015

What Matters Most

It is raining.

The sky is gray and thunderstorms are in the forecast--a 100% chance. Supposedly these storms are going to gear up right around 2:00 this afternoon and continue through the night.

A perfect kind of day...with one exception.

Today is Conquer a Cove.

Conquer a Cove is a 5K hosted on our campus by Hope Chest for Women, a nonprofit organization that aids women with cancer. A year ago, I planned this race as I worked for Hope Chest for a short time. But then I got the job working for the County and passed the baton to Savana who helps Sara who is the new director. They have been frantically working all week to prepare for the big day--ordering t-shirts, mapping out the route and painting white lines to guide the runners, picking up hundreds of bottles of water---and the list continues. Roy and I registered for the event and fully intended to walk it....but now? Well, now we're keeping one eye on the weather and the other eye on an agenda that doesn't include a 5K.

We're not die-hards.

Meanwhile, Savana is stressed. She made breakfast for herself (a smoothie) and showered and is now running around the house trying to accomplish a million things so that she can meet Sara and get ready for the Big Event. I can't imagine there will be a lot of participants...but she seems to think otherwise. Clearly, many 5K participants don't worry about the weather. They are devoted to their cause and ready to conquer a race simply because they have committed themselves to do so.

That's so inspiring.

I, on the other hand, will feel good about the fact that I made a donation to the Hope Chest cause and call it a day.

Different strokes for different folks.

Lately, I've been thinking about causes. Everybody has one, really. What is mine? Where does my passion lie? What good am I doing to make this world a better place other than simply taking up space?

It's an interesting question--one that propels me forward to discover a cause that makes a difference.

Last night Roy and I were riding around in our little golf cart as rain poured down. But the sun hadn't gone down yet  and it was peaceful outside. As we have a golf cart cover that keeps us dry, we were toodaloo-ing around, doing our usual route like a couple of 90 year olds, when suddenly a car drove up beside us and out jumped this girl who ran over to the golf cart and peeked inside.

"Kate?" I said, my voice filled with wonder.

"Mrs. Seals!" she squealed and quickly reached in to give me a tight hug.

I taught Kate two years ago. She was one of those girls who quickly won my heart. She wore her heart on her sleeve and lived life on the edge. The words of others cut deep to Kate. She had a "heavy metal" edge about her and I loved her for it. She'd had a tough life, coming to our school with a huge chip on her shoulder from years of switching schools and experiencing more rejection than any child should have to endure. But she was tough, and bold, and tender--just my style.

Kate stayed here at the academy for two years, but this year, her mom whisked her away to live with her at home and I haven't seen her for about a year now. She looked so cute, standing there on the side of the golf cart. A year had been good to her and she was as cute as ever, all smiles, her hair down to her shoulders.

"Are you happy, Kate?" I asked.

And she shook her head. "Nobody likes me at my school," she said. "My only friend is an atheist with blue hair."

I laughed. That is just so Kate.

I encouraged her to please come back for her senior year. I even flirted with the idea in my head of having her live with us so that the possibility of her returning was greater...but I'll put that idea aside for now. We have to get on the other side of summer first.

Here is the thing. Regardless of the cause we choose to pursue--whether it be Hope Chest for Women, or running 5Ks, or pursuing a vegan lifestyle for the health of the planet, or recycling, or  feeding the homeless--or whatever that cause may be...our ultimate cause should be people. Plain and simple. People.

The world is filled with Kates--people who are struggling to find a friend, people who wear their feelings on their sleeves, people who are hurt and angry by the pain life has tossed their way.

I'm not exactly sure what my cause is. I haven't quite figured it out yet but I'm playing with some ideas. I'm a slow mover, really. It takes me awhile to get going on branching out, moving forward in a new way. But regardless of which direction I go, what matters most...



  1. contribution to the run was to beg our grounds guy to get the school mowed by Friday afternoon so the runners could use it rain or shine. Then I stayed home and blew my nose....People is a good cause!

  2. So true! People is what matters most. Such a sweet Kate story. You do always have a soft spot for people like her! Cuz you da sweetest. I want to find my cause too!!

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