Today is Day 5 of the Journey of Pancake the Penguin, whose sister is a fish and who is on a quest for a magical chest that will give her the power of flight on Christmas Day. So what does the adopted sister and best friend get on Christmas Day? I don’t know. Lungs, maybe. Or all the plankton she can eat.
But today, Pancake and Pep approach their mother to tell her that they are going on a quest. Their mother — who is wearing a scarf, as you can see in the photograph above — basically tells them, “Be careful”. Pancake and Pep promise that they’ll be careful. We’ll see what happens in tomorrow’s adventure.
Of course, I remember what “being careful” means when you’re a kid. I had these conversations with my own mom:
ME: I’m off to play in the vacant lot half a mile away with my friends!
MOM: Okay, be careful!
ME: [Immediately tries to create a hole in the dirt with firecrackers]
That really happened! Where we lived (I forget what ages we were) there was a huge vacant lot not too far away from our house. My friends and I would spend hours there, doing all kinds of things, because it wasn’t just a vacant lot! It had hills and holes and the ruins of an abandoned gas station and more! Naturally, this was heaven for an over-imaginative kid like me. I had this theory that there was a minotaur — yes, a minotaur, straight out of Grecian myth — that lived in a cave underneath the abandoned gas station and ate battery acid. I don’t know where I came up with that. I also remember looking out the window of my grandparents’ house and seeing the head of a minotaur moving across the skyline, but that may have been a dream (though it also explains my fondness for kaiju stories).
And yes, one day my friends and I decided we needed to deepen one of the holes in the vacant lot, so one of us brought a bunch of firecrackers because, hey, miners used explosions to dig holes, so we could as well. As far as I can recall, none of us lost our fingers. Nor did the hole really get much deeper. Experiment: Fail.
Pancake and Pep probably don’t play with firecrackers in the ocean, though, and not just because the firecrackers wouldn’t ignite. They are a good sister/sister pair and would never even ponder such an idea, now would they?
Today’s message in the Episcopal Advent Calendar, centering on the “Go” stage in the way of love, is: “Read or watch your local news. Ask God to open your heart and eyes to ways you can promote reconciliation and healing in your community.”
Gotta think about that one. There are ways and ways to help out in the local community. I don’t mind sending money to the food bank, to the women’s shelter, and other charitable organizations in the area. I have an allergy to the idea of running for local office, though I’m sure I’d be able to counter the loonies who bust into school board meetings demanding that their children be taught that trees invented automobiles or something equally silly. I can write. I can volunteer. I can find all kinds of ways to help.