There’s been a lot of stress floating around the atmosphere lately… work, money, kids, should we go here, should we do that, and how will everything fit together in the end are all questions on the collective Kelly mind.
Well, except for Evelyn. She is content with the sunshiny Spring days and a world of adventures yet to be discovered.
She doesn’t mind that we haven’t been on holiday in over a year and she never seems to notice that most of her toys and clothes come second-hand. She delights in what she has (mostly – she does throw a good fit when we’re not inclined to give her cookies before dinner).
One of her newest toys – and one that I have to admit I’m loving as well – is this small Noah’s Ark we bought at the Enable Ireland charity shop this week. I love Noah’s Arks anyway, but I have never seen one like this before. It’s not particularly unique, but it’s just really cute, measuring smaller than a loaf of bread. It’s a bit scuffed and not all the original animals have made the journey, but the ones that have are still smiling their plastic smiles. I think it might be retro – I’m guessing 1980s. I wish I could find out more about it to see if I might score some replacement beasts, but the only indicator of make and model is the typical “Made In China” impression on the bottom. Ah well – we love it, rough bits and all, and it’s a fun addition to the toy family.
Evey is constantly bringing me the Ark since we bought it, asking me to play or getting my help at prying open the stiff doors. Sometimes – I’ll admit it – I groan inwardly when she brings me a certain toy or book that drives me mental, but this is so far not the case with Noah’s motley crew. For some reason, I think I might enjoy playing with it as much as my 2 year-old.
Perhaps it reminds me of simple pleasures, or makes me nostalgic for my imagination. Maybe it’s just something different to look at in the jumble of crazy colours, noises and shapes that inhabit Evey’s toy box. But maybe – and this might sound corny – maybe it’s a sign that I need to relax and just take things as they come, two by two?
Imagine you’re a fly-on-the-wall reporter covering the story of Noah’s Ark. Dateline: Somewhere in Genesis. The skies are lovely as this massive, crazy boat is being built by one man and his family who are steadfastly telling their friends that the earth is about to be covered in water. They don’t care about the jeers, they just keep working. Then they have to go out and get every animal imaginable, one male and one female of each (except for the slugs, we can make do with just one slug), herd them up and put them on this boat. People still jeering. The sun is shining away as the crowds dissipate and maybe Noah is feeling a little nervous. The animals are getting restless, waiting in this long line of other animals, many of whom are mortal enemies. But what can you do? Turn down God? Nope. So we wait. Wait in line, wait for rain, wait for our answer. And then – it rains! Wow, holy cow does it rain! And keeps raining. And raining. And even when it stops raining, there’s no land to be seen. Maybe Noah’s wife gets a little cranky at this stage, saying, OK, we did the right thing, is this the thanks we get? I gave up my dream home for this? And the animals are starting to turn to gambling and drink and are plotting against the pigs, fighting amongst themselves over who gets the first taste of bacon if they don’t see land in 12 more hours… And then, whew, just in time, there’s land! Thank God, there’s land! It’s all over – everyone can get off the boat and relax again and make a new home. Maybe Shem, Ham and Japheth got scurvy and Mrs. Pig can’t find her mate, but at least it’s over. It all turned out. All it took was a little faith and a lot of patience.
I haven’t got an ark to build or an ocean to cross… at least not this week. But maybe next time I play with Evelyn and her little Noah’s Ark, I can breathe a small sigh of relief and know that nothing this world can throw our way will ultimately defeat us. Sometimes it feels like we’re being defeated, like we’re surrounded by rain clouds and naysayers, but, as the old song says, “our day will come.”