The wind is constantly shifting direction tonight. So as the smoke revolves, I pick up my chair and move. As I plopped down this last time, ping came the thought - this is JUST like life. Shift. Shift. Which way? Try this. Then as the flames died, the smoke grew in intensity as a few more sticks were placed. Then POOF. Flames. Yes - that would be just like life. You never know the exact combination, but every once in a while the right elements for combustion will unite.
This is National EMS Week. I think back to 1988 and why I even signed up for an EMS course. It was to help a friend who thought he could not pass. I figured since I was enrolled as a NMU student that fall, the class could only be beneficial to a resume. He dropped out. I remained not knowing really why. This touchy stuff had me to the granite cliff edge many a night.
The last evening of class in February of 1989, I refused to fill out the state paperwork. Suddenly I was called to the hall by the instructor. Eighteen years old and the first time to be called into the hall by a teacher. He said in so many words - what in the hell are you doing?
I told him that I never once thought I was good at this EMS stuff, I had only taken the course to help someone else, I was financially obligated and as a full-time student had too much to lose to just drop earlier.
That was the first time I heard about how some people are gifted with talents they perhaps do not see or want. I listened. I remember. I walk that talk now with others.
The semester ended, I signed up for a lot of spring and summer classes, and then I received a call. A person I had taken the course with and who lived nearby said that I needed to help the community. Study. Join the township service just as an extra set of hands until the state test was offered in August. Guilt trip. Total inability to say no.
The 4th of July weekend in 1989 was my first EMS call. I had just received my huge red brick pager. Orientation was here's a phone number to call when it alerts. So I arrived first...to a rolled-over caravan filled with non-English speaking adults and children.
As I reflect and wonder what is next on my professional and personal horizon, I look at the experiences, the shift this way, then that way, smoke....smoke....and wonder what the next flickering flames will bring.