Sunday, October 29, 2006

Part 30 – Closing Thoughts

1971. The first time I was ever on Disney property. No. I don’t remember it. I don’t even have any pictures of being there. But that was the first time. I was less than a year old. We went to Disneyland. I have no clue if that imprinted on me the deep love that I have for Disney parks. But every trip in my memory (1984, 2003, 2006) has been one of powerful memories. Things that I wouldn’t trade anything for, even if I could.

I’m not an overly emotional kind of person when it comes to warm, fuzzies. I’m a logic person. Emotions get in the way of logic. But when it comes to Disney trips, all that logic stuff takes a flying leap. I don’t feel like the same person when I’m there. I will do things and act in ways that aren’t normal for me. I become something more than the day to day Todd. Maybe even something better.

I said earlier that there wasn’t much magical that happened on our trip. I meant that in a tangible way. There weren’t a lot of the little plusses to our trip. It wasn’t sprinkled with many moments of remarkable happenstance. Serendipity.

But it was a trip filled with grace. Unmerited favor. Good result without doing something to earn it.

I saw that grace in the eyes of my boys when they met their heroes (even if the hero is a villain). Or listening to them ask one another, “What was your favorite thing?” I experienced that grace when, even at the depth of exhaustion and illness, Lisa and I were not short or rude to one another or the boys. That grace softened some of the hard shell that I project to protect me from getting too close to people. And that shell that protects people from the full jerk I can be.

This was a trip that transformed me. In a little way. I’m different after this trip. I laugh more these days. I haven’t laughed this much in a long time. I feel the importance of having friends and colleagues. I don’t feel that efforts are always futile but that some bear wonderful fruit.

I don’t believe Walt Disney World to be holy ground. It isn’t even sacred ground. And there is a difference folks. But I believe that sometimes the most simple things, the things that can be taken for granted, can be windows to transforming moments. Maybe this trip was just the chance to break out of the rut that I was in. Maybe it was the offering of a new wind in my sails to get me moving again. Maybe it was the magic that I needed.

Some find that magic in the deer woods or on a crystal lake fishing. Some find it in the mountains and deserts (one s). Some find it among family and friends. Some find it in solitude. For me, that magic was in the midst of thousands of people, yet with only my family. It was in the restful exhaustion of full days of walking. It was in that place that came into being because one man had a vision. And even though he was lying, dying in a hospital bed on the west coast, he could see that place in his minds’ eye. Just as one man, who died on a cross 2,000 years ago, saw my need for grace this one particular week and made it real.

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