By Joseph Mazzella
I was 10 years old and I was going on an adventure. It was summer break and my family had traveled south, to TN, to visit my Uncle Richard and Aunt Charlotte. But, while my older brothers had been allowed to go all over the place, I had been stuck in the house for most of the visit. Now, however, my mom had decided to let me go alone to a corner grocery store at the end of the block. She had given me money to pick up a loaf of bread and extra change to get myself a popcicle. I felt so grown up as I made the journey, bought the food, and headed back.
When I was about half way back to the house, though, I found my path blocked. A large black dog was looking at me and growling. I had never had a dog look angry at me before and my heart started to pound faster and faster in my chest. I didn't know what to do. Should I run? Should I scream? Suddenly, I felt a calmness come over me. It felt like it was coming from outside of me and within me at the same time. I knew what to do, too. I stood up as tall and straight as I could, looked over the dog, and said firmly, but kindly, “Go home, boy!” The dog stared back at me for a moment, then turned and trotted off.
I walked on, feeling very brave and very scared at the same time. I saw my mom and Aunt Charlotte sitting together on her front porch. I skipped up the steps and sat down in between them. My mom gave me a sip of her soda while I shared what had happened with her. I relaxed in her arms feeling adventurous, but also safe, secure, and loved.
Looking back on that moment reminds me that life itself is an adventure and only the bravest of us fully live it. It is full of fear and love. It is full of lessons and learning. It is full of pain and joy. Yet, through it all we are watched over and loved. God is everywhere and in everything, including us. Embrace all the adventures life gives you, then, be they big or small. Face them without fear. Use them to become the person you were meant to be. Let your entire life here be an adventure of love. And always let God's love live through you.
Joseph Mazzella is a free-lance writer from Nicholas County and a GSC Alumnus.