There are dreams of love, life, and adventure in all of us.

 But we are also sadly filled with reasons why we shouldn’t try.

These reasons seem to protect us, but in truth they imprison us.

 They hold life at a distance.

 Life will be over sooner than we think.

If we have bikes to ride and people to love, now is the time.

Elisabeth Kubler Ross, psychiatrist

*            *            *

One of my grandchildren asked for a basketball. When I got one for him, I wanted it to be more than just a basketball, so with the help of a black marking pen I took the opportunity to share some wisdom with him. I wrote on the ball,

“It’s not how hard you fall that matters, it’s how high you bounce that does.”

*            *            *

Like a whole bunch of other people, I stay up to watch the ball drop in Times Square on New Year’s Eve. Unlike the million or so people who are actually in New York City, I watch from the comfort of my living room. Covered with 2,688 crystal triangles, the ball is 12 feet in diameter and weights 11, 875 pounds. The ball drop got it’s start in 1907. It sits on a building called One Times Square. Just before midnight on New Years Eve, it makes a 10 second slide down a pole. Fireworks and a whole bunch of partying follow. The new year has begun.

*            *            *

For you and me the ball called life drops everyday. And this ball does not always bounce in the direction we would like it to.  Author and disability advocate Helen Keller said, “Security is mostly superstition Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.  Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”

No one is certain how many times you’ll get the ball called life. That simple fact should be enough to get you moving in the direction of your dreams and goals. And somewhere along the road during your quest, you’re going to get clobbered. Now, remember what I wrote on that basketball for my grandson, “It’s not how hard you fall that matters, it’s how high you bounce that does.”

You may have to back up but you don’t have to give up. What have you learned? What can you do different on your next try? And if you can find a way to laugh at your calamity, you’re already bouncing back. Life can be cruel but there is no other game in town. Have some fun. Play to win but expect some bumps on your head and a bruise or two on your heart.

*            *            *

What is life?

It is the flash of a firefly in the night.

 It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime.

 It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.”

Last words of Blackfoot Warrior Crowfoot