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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Good Thing It Wasn't A Coconut

Fifteen years ago, when my son was 3 years old, we lived on the island of Maui in Hawaii. We'd often go to a private waterfall to swim which required hiking in through a bit of jungle. On the way back from the falls one day, we noticed a big papaya tree with some nice ripe papayas on it. We wanted to take some home with us, so we found a long stick and shook a large papaya off the tree. It came down hard and fast, falling right where my son was standing. The stem of the papaya nicked his forehead, cutting him above his eye.
A couple of days later while shopping, a local Hawaiian woman asked me what happened to his forehead, since he now had a scab where the papaya hit him. I told the woman that a papaya fell on him, she smiled real big and said "Oh...good thing it wasn't a coconut!"
To this day I'll think of what that woman said when things are challenging or I feel like I was a victim somehow. It could always be worse. It could have been a coconut that hit him.
Recently my husband and I have had some challenges that we could have considered unlucky. We're traveling in the Caribbean right now and were staying for a week in a beautiful old Mediterranean style house that had the most incredible ocean view that I've ever seen anywhere. The second night we were there it stormed and rained harder than it has all year. There was thunder and lightening and it was a bit scary. Then the roof started 7 different places! Two of the places were over the bed...another directly over the toilet, so when you used the toilet you'd get soaked.
I thought of getting the umbrella to keep dry but then it stopped raining. By that time we had a small river running through the place so we gathered all the towels we could find to soak up the water. The rain left the ceiling above the toilet in the bathroom soggy and needing repair, pieces of plaster were crumbling down and falling on the floor. It didn't rain again for 2 days, then early the next morning it started coming down really hard. I woke up  from the sound and got up to use the bathroom. Water was dripping on my head from the leak above the toilet. About 3 minutes after I had gone back to bed I heard a loud crash. My husband and I wondered what it might be, he went to look around but didn't see anything. It wasn't until a little later when I went into the bathroom to brush my teeth that I noticed the huge chunks of plaster in the toilet and all over the floor. The leak made the plaster heavy and a big piece fell off right into the toilet where I had been just minutes earlier. Good thing I wasn't there or it would have hit me on the head and by the way it sounded it would have hurt.
So the moral of this story is, it could always be worse. We used this as an opportunity to look for the ways we were lucky.
It was a good thing the storm waited until we were off the plane before it hit, flying during that would have been frightening. It's a good thing that we got all of our luggage into the house before it rained for hours without stopping. And it's a good thing the leaks above the bed woke us up or we wouldn't have seen the streams of water running through the house heading right for all of our luggage!
Oh...after the rain stopped, the refrigerator motor went out and we had no's a good thing we were only staying a week!
We actually had a wonderful relaxing time and feel really blessed to have had the time in this lovely home.

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