Run for the Roses: A Moment with Bill Reflection
Born in the Valley
“Born in the valley and raised in the trees
Of Western Kentucky on wobbly knees
With mama beside you to help you along
You’ll soon be a growing up strong.”
Arrival….survival….an assault to the senses at first….a brilliant cornucopia of experiences shortly after…we are born, we are frightened, we are confused, we are turned around, upside down, inside out, tiny little squirmy creatures in a scary world of giants, loud sounds, intense feelings of comfort and yes, moments of pain.
Mama holds us, strokes us, pats, us, coos to us, and assure us that all is well, all is as it should be, all will be all right, and we believe her, we suckle, we chuckle, we crawl, fall, demand and try to stand, testing the limits, bringing our “child” to a child-proof home and exposing it as nonsense, for how could any home be “child-proof?” How could any environment be totally safe? Mama will try her best…Dada will try his best….and the rest, as they say, is up to us.
And so we go forth, tentatively at first, but soon momentum increases, hinderances are conquered, and all roads lead to our destiny, the road that lies ahead.
Could Never Prepare You for What Lies Ahead
“All the long, lazy mornings in pastures of green
The sun on your withers, the wind in your mane
Could never prepare you for what lies ahead
The run for the roses so red.”
Your parents do their best, passing down their wisdom and experience. Teachers follow with sets of rules and knowledge supposedly crucial for your development. The School of Hard Knocks comes a’callin, always eager to impart some wisdom at your doorstep.
But none of it…absolutely none of it…can prepare you for the life that awaits you. On the horizon of your life are friends, enemies, figures of importance and casual acquaintances. On the horizon of your life are heartaches, triumphs, thrill and chills. Out there past today, where the sun has yet to shine, are girlfriends, boyfriends, bosses, bill collectors, supporters, detractors, doctors, lawyers, good health and ill will, and a hundred-thousand other small moments that will have a collective impact on your psyche and development as a human being.
The Chance of a Lifetime in a Lifetime of Chance
“And it’s run for the roses as fast as you can
Your fate is delivered, your moment’s at hand
It’s the chance of a lifetime in a lifetime of chance
And it’s high time you joined in the dance.”
The challenges come. The challenges go. We are forged by time and fate, honed to a sharp edge, fire and hammer pounding us to a fighting sheen, preparing us for what? When will the defining moments arrive? When will we be faced with our own mortality? When will we be called upon to stand up and be counted? And more importantly….will we answer the bell for that important round, as the judges scribble on their score cards, and we enter the ring and absorb the body punches, the jabs, the crosses to bear, will it all be too much for us, or will we remain standing in the center of that ring, bloodied, bowed, but victorious?
Will we even recognize those defining moments, or will they slip by us, unaltered and unanswered, not even noticed and ultimately lost in time? Do we have what it takes? Are we made of the right stuff, the stuff we need to overcome, survive and thrive? Is the fire burning strong enough within, or are there only embers slowly fading? It is a cosmic joke, really, irony in its purest form, that oftentimes defining moment go unnoticed, and only when we look back over the landscape of our lives do we see them for what they were, the crossroads that defined us as human beings.
So the bell is ringing constantly. Do you hear it?
Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.
The Fire of a Mare and the Strength of a Stud
“From sire to sire, it’s born in the blood
The fire of a mare and the strength of a stud
It’s breeding and it’s training and it’s something unknown
The drives you and carries you home.”
Down the backstretch of life we race and around the final turn, legs churning, lungs straining, heart pumping, our strides increase in length as we head for home. The competition is fierce and there, as the finish line comes into sight, we discover whether we have what it takes. Our bodies are screaming for rest. Our minds are telling us we can do it, we can’t do it, we must do it, but can we do it?
And at that magical moment, when doubts and confidence intertwine, the unknown takes over, our minds clear, and all that came before us delivers on its promise, the same promise whispered in our ears as we reclined in our mother’s arms so long ago, the promise of unlimited possibilities if only we believe. If only we trust in the lessons learned, and embrace the answers, then our stride will be true, there will be no missteps, and we will gallop through the finish line victors in the race…victors in life.
We may be bucked off. It’s certainly not unheard of. Life is a ton of muscle, sinew, and heart, a runaway beast capable of tossing us to the ground or giving us the ride of a lifetime, and whether we end up falling, or holding on for the entire ride, depends on what we have learned over the decades, and how we have reacted to those lessons.
And It’s High Time You Joined in the Dance
“And it’s run for the roses as fast as you can
Your fate is delivered, your moment’s at hand….”
Will you join in the dance? Or will you stand by the wall, the perpetual wallflower, watching as others lead the life you wanted so badly?
The average life span is 75 years, give or take. Seventy-five years….27,375 days….657,000 hours….2.6 billion heartbeats…..how many of those are used to thrive and not merely survive?
You were given all you needed at birth. Bonuses were heaped upon you over the years. You are a walking, talking miracle waiting to happen, and if the miracle has not happened then only two things are missing: your affirmation and participation.
Don’t you think it’s about time?
Whatever has held you back needs to cease.
Whatever lies you told yourself need to be buried.
Whatever restrictions you placed on your growth need to be unshackled.
The moment is now!
Are you ready for the race?
Are you ready to run for the roses?
2015 William D. Holland (aka billybuc) In memory of Dan Fogelberg