You've got it in your teeth. It rises from the road when the horse gets loose and takes off for the hills. You've got it when the wind howls and you're smiling into it. You've got it in your pocket after collecting stones for skipping. You've got it between your toes after walking down the beach counting sand. The shovel is covered in it from things you've buried and holes you've dug to plant something living, like the bulb of the iris, an underground eye that opens in April.
See, I didn't feel like writing for a couple of days, sitting here scared of being public, afraid I'd say the wrong thing, that it would come out wrong, but I'm back again. I'm not saying I never give up because I do. I've given up lots of times. But for the majority of the trip, I've stuck it in, not because I was brave or strong or anything like that but because others have lifted me when I needed the help up, including you. Sometimes I was so scared, I sat up whole nights ready to hand the job over to someone else, someone I thought might be more qualified to be me. But then I found something here writing these pages: I'm not alone. Far from it.
Yesterday, Nora got stuck in the grocery cart at the Pac n' Save. I guess she's too big to ride in the top part now. So, I was trying to lift 65 pounds straight into the air while she was screaming, and her legs weren't budging. And I think I looked at the sky for a moment asking God to help me and then there was a man there asking if I needed a little help, and boy, did I ever. So he lifted from one end and I lifted from the other, and Nora got out. Now, it seems funny when I think about it now. I can see the headline already: Child Stuck in Grocery Cart Removed by Local Welders, Mother Vows to Read More Parenting Books. But I'll be honest, I cried after it was all done sitting there with my head on the minivan steering wheel saying all kinds of unkind things to myself about how I need to lift more weights because I need to be prepared for these kinds of things in the future. I felt like I'd lost my grit.
But, you know what? I think God made each one of us with a healthy dose of grit, enough to last our whole life through and it comes in the form of people helping each other, not from anything we produce on our own. I mean, check out this town moving a barn. The barn always ended up flooded, so the family looked into having it moved professionally, but the estimate was sky-high. So, someone did a bit of math and looked up the population number on the sign in town, and decided they could do it themselves with some help from...well, everyone they knew.
So, if you feel like your barn is always flooding or if you get your kid stuck in a grocery cart, give your neighbors a call. We'll help you move it. That's true grit.