From the Principal's Desk. . .
We need to draw on our courage to engage in transformational change.
I had to draw on my courage for a morning visit to the allergist’s office, where we were progressing from skin and blood testing to actually eating peanuts – something I’ve strictly avoided since being diagnosed with anaphylactic food allergies more than 25 years ago.
After making it through the screening to enter the clinic (the now familiar questions about out-of-province travel or COVID symptoms and a quick temperature check), I went up the elevator (capacity diminished from 25 to 5 passengers) and was ushered into an exam room. While I waited for the clinic nurse, whose pink shoes matched her scrubs, I prayed, borrowing words from Julian of Norwich:
“All shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well”
And then for the next 2 hours I ate increasing amounts of peanuts. I was scared. I was hopeful. And I was surprised to discover I still liked the taste of peanuts!
I kept my headphones on and my eyes glued to my book between doses. Hyper-vigilance and panic are pretty close neighbours. I was grateful for how thoroughly the doctor had explained why it was safe to try this food challenge, grateful for the nurse’s explanation of what would happen if I did have a reaction, and for the reassurance that I was safe, no matter the outcome.
So I ate peanuts and rinsed my mouth and read my book and gave thumbs up and waited. When I needed to refresh my courage I prayed or took a deep breath or texted an update.
And the paradox is that by having no reaction at all, my life is transformed.
As vaccinations ramp up across the country, more and more of us are having small life-transforming moments in small exam rooms. Screwing up courage for a chance at lessened fear. Still relying on prayer and one another to carry us through.
I hope you are finding opportunities for change, and the courage to engage in the challenges that accompany them.
As for me, I’ll be following my doctor’s orders to eat peanuts a couple of times a week, to bolster my tolerance. Maybe I’ll look for a good peanut butter cookie recipe….
Michelle Owens, Principal