Rising every time we fall

A thin place story

When the universe sends you exactly what you need, why would you say no?

A teenaged girl loved to sing. To develop her voice she began to take voice lessons. Her teacher encouraged her to participate in the Kiwanis Music Festival to help her become more comfortable with on-stage performances.  The girl and her teacher practiced and prepared for the vocal competition in the Show Music category.

What they didn’t know was that experienced participants in this category do more than sing. They come prepared with costumes and props for a fully choreographed performance.

The day of the competition, this girl arrived early. It was a warm summer day, so she and her parents decided to wait outside rather than in a stuffy auditorium. As they basked in the sun, other performers began to arrive. One walked in carrying a garment bag and props for her performance. “Costumes?” the girl said to her mother. “I didn’t know I needed costumes.” Another competitor arrived and hauled a giant stuffed dog out of her car. “Props? I didn’t know I needed props.” She had come with nothing but herself and her voice. She felt intimidated and she hadn’t even entered the building yet.

A girl and her voice

The performances began. Of five performers, she sang fourth. She watched the others place their props, change their costumes, and follow through with their careful choreography. Each performance outdid the one before. By the time her turn rolled around, she trembled with nerves. But she bravely took herself and her voice on the stage and did her best.

Things didn’t get better from there. The judge awarded a first and second place and then a tie for third to the other four performers. The girl was the only one left out. She couldn’t leave the auditorium fast enough. Mortified, she climbed into her car and hid her head under a jacket.

The other passion

The only thing that could make her day better was her school rugby game that afternoon. Rugby was her passion and she looked forward to taking out her frustrations on the field. During one unfortunate play, however, her head knocked hard against the ground—a possible concussion

Later, in the doctor’s examination room, she and her mother sat and waited their turn. They both slumped under the sting of events gone wrong.

Time passed. They waited.

Then the mother got that feeling.

The strange energy of the moment told her that she needed to open her eyes and pay attention. She glanced at the calendar on the wall and read:

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. —Confucius

She thought, “I like that.” She fumbled in her purse to find paper to write it down. Her hand brought out the only piece of paper available—the registration form for the Kiwanis Music Festival.

When the universe gives you the courage to brush yourself off and try again, why would you say no?


About Arlene Somerton Smith

Writer, laughing thinker, miner of inspirational insights, sports fan, and community volunteer

Posted on July 30, 2010, in good faith, spirit, story and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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