In the Pit

My friend tells me a story that goes something like this.

There’s a guy trapped in a dark, deep pit covered in the stuff that gets flung at Tim Hortons.

He calls for help.

A guy passes the pit but doesn’t hear him. Another person hears but ignores. Another person tries to help but is unsuccessful.

Finally, another guy jumps in the pit.

“You idiot! What are you doing? Now there’s two of us down here.”

“You’re right,” the guy answers. “But I’ve been here before. And I know the way out.”

I recently returned to the pit.
I didn’t want to go.

I knew it would be hard.
I knew it would be uncomfortable.
I knew it would be painful.

I recently returned to the pit.
I didn’t want to go.
But I did.

I had to.

And I will go back again.
Even though I don’t want to.
Because there are people down there.

I tell them
I’ve been here before.
And I know the way out.

The Stories We Tell

At the time of 2:00 a.m. on a day in May in the year 2012, amniotic fluid drenched the carpet in a hallway of an 11th floor apartment on Walker Avenue.

I was excited. I was scared. I was unprepared.

By 2:00 p.m. I was exhausted. Being a birth coach is hard work! It’s especially hard for a person as empathetic as I am. By 3:00 p.m. I was in extreme pain, suffering from a migraine. The lack of sleep, the constant doling out of ice chips, and the extreme outpouring of emotions had taken their toll.

“Go home, honey,” she said. “Get some rest,” she said.

“Okay,” I said.

I went home to the soaked carpet knowing it had been the best day of my life, knowing I had experienced a miracle, knowing what it meant to love and be loved, and knowing that I had become a dad.

That’s the story of my daughter’s birth. Is it accurate? Is it embellished? Is it true? That is for the reader to decide. But I will tell you this, and it’s a truth I was reminded of this past Sunday: There are truths in the stories we tell.

After telling a story, my friend Hermione succinctly said:

Stories bring us together.

And when a rock-climbing, rebellious, spiritual, and insightful Kiwi tells stories, the truths become clearer.