By Z Zoccolante
It’s about 200 thousand degrees outside. The sun is finally thinking about setting for the day and the mist is rolling in from the ocean. Vega and I make our way to the grassy knoll, her little body pulling the harness like she’s trying to pull a sled through mountains of snow.
Today, I’m the only one here, in the open air, with the green grass and blue sky stretching over the bluff with houses and buildings and roads lining the horizon like a micro-machine town.
Vega takes off sprinting, her arms and legs airborne. I whip the ball and it lands in front of her, bounces in the air and she leaps up grabs it in her mouth. Her head snaps back as she hits the ground. It looks like the most uncomfortable thing, but she loves it. She jogs back to me, her little black ears flapping up and down like bat wings.
The ball falls from her mouth and I pick it up and she’s off, sprinting at full force ahead. And I whip the ball in front of her again.
This time as I watch her run, her little legs and body in motion, my hearts feels as though it could burst. Tears form in my eyes.
She trusts me. She trusts that she can sprint full out ahead, knowing the ball will appear up ahead. She doesn’t look back. She just runs. She trusts me that much. She knows she can run and the ball will appear.
I think about God.
I flash back to the night my partner told me he didn’t want to be with me anymore. I remember how I walked across the street through the empty parking lot and sat on a bench that faced our apartment window. I knew something was very wrong. This was the second conversation of three, that would end my world as I knew it. But I didn’t have all the information then. I could just feel that everything was slipping away and I didn’t know why.
As I was sobbing on the bench, a security lady came outside, exiting her shift. She asked me if I was ok. I said yes, and mumbled something about my partner. She asked point blank, did he hit you? No, no, nothing like that, I said. Her boyfriend pulled up and she waivered, unsure of whether to leave me. I’m ok, I said, really, to reassure her so she’d get in the car.
Honestly, I just wanted to be left alone to cry in peace. And a few seconds later I was.
Alone with God. So I guess I’m only physically alone.
God what are you doing, I say.
God whispers in my head, Palm of my Hand.
I remember the photos of the sleeping baby’s all curled up like fairies.
I picture me curled up in the fetal position, tiny and small, in the palm of a hand, safe, secure, protected.
Palm of my hand, God tells me.
Flash forward to now, after my life flip turned and nothing is the same. Some days when things fall apart I wonder why I’m even here at all. Some days when I find myself saying, If I get the choice to come back I’m never coming back to earth. Some days where the bullshit feels overwhelming, I remind myself . . .
Palm of my hand.
Do we ever know what God is doing? Or maybe it’s like acting and we get the sides the night before the shoot, the rewrites, or the complete overhaul.
Palm of my hand.
I watch Vega run, her little legs and body, and I think,
What if I just ran, full sprint, towards the horizons of my life. Without looking back. Trusting that God’s going to throw the ball in front of me. Trusting that God’s always got my best interest in mind.
It’s a thought right?
Vega sprints again without hesitation.
What if we just ran?