When Life Comes Calling (or trickles down your backside).

by joelmckerrow

It always happens when you least expect it. Life. It happens everywhere. All around us.


I was packing boxes the other day, moving house. Could there be a worse a time for life to interupt. I was certainly not looking for her. She came looking for me.  There I was minding my own business when she brushed up against me. Or, truth be told, she cycloned straight through me.

The day had been still. Hot. Sweat drips with no hint of a breeze to take off the edge. Until this moment. I looked out the window surprised. A box flew across the backyard. A cardboard box. Followed by a sheet of plastic. Followed by a trampoline. I kid you not. It was a small trampoline granted. With a net of protection all around which would turned into sails whenever the wind blew. But the wind had not been blowing. The day had been totally motionless. Yet, now, here it was. Ferocious wind. The trampoline crashed into the fence. The cardboard continued moving. So did the plastic. They were swept along by the wind. Swept in circles by the wind. By the time I came out the back door they were both high up in the air twirling around and around in a circle. It was some kind of mini-cyclone. I was struck in the face with its force and had to catch my breath. Yet, within a few moments of me walking outside, the wind had moved on from our house. I could see its path, it went over to the next door neighbours. Their trees and clothesline swinging wild for a few moments. Whilst I stood now once again in total stillness.  The wind past through me and onwards as quick as it had come. The cardboard box and the plastic though, they just kept on rising. Around and around in circles. I was transfixed. Could not look away. Up and up they kept on. Dancing. Twirling. Beautiful. Held up by the wind. It did not look possible. I stared after them. In the wake of their dervish my heart rose in recognition. I never did see them touch down. The box and the plastic. They kept going over a hill till I could not see them. Either they landed in a field out beyond our house or they landed in Oz. Either way I went back to the task of packing boxes but it no longer seemed such a task anymore. My heart was too light for that. Just a hint of beauty twirling in the air and life, she had come calling.


That weekend she just kept on coming. The next time, it was by tickling my plumbers crack. (Don’t worry this blog is not going too far down the gutter:)

Once again I was packing boxes. The family had come home. I was bent over trying to tape together a particularly frustrating box when suddenly a trickle of cold rushed down my plumbers. Not even joking. Ice-cold. I screamed in shock. In fear. In something. I Jumped up. Turned around. My almost-two-year-old son is standing their beaming. A smile that quickly turns into an all-out belly laugh. He is on the ground shaking in laughter such was his delight. My son had just played his first-ever practical joke on his dad. His drinking water (with ice-cubes) now no longer in his cup, but dripping down my backside. I could do nothing, but fall down rolling on the ground in laughter with him. Life. She comes always when we least expect her and in ways that just seem so…inappropriate.

She kept coming at me. Through my son again. It was the following day. Still in the toil of moving house. I was lying down on the mattress. The bed frame already gone. The mattress on the ground. I was trying to catch a few moments of rest to get my strength up for the final cleaning. My eyes closed. After a short time I heard the soft movement of small feet near-by. Shuffling. I was almost about to open them thinking I was about to be doused with water again. I kept them closed. Waited. Wondering what the little fella was up to. And that’s when I heard it. That is when he said it. The first time he’d ever said it to me. Not that he’d know what it meant. Or maybe he knows much more so than I, for my years they get in the way sometimes. He came close. Right up to the bed. A whisper. Three words…

“I love you.”

He walks straight back out the door to his mum and I am left a blubbering mess. Nothing can prepare you for that. No words written here could possibly describe what that does inside you. Life. Somedays she clobbers you she is trying so hard to get your attention.


And so the boxes were all packed and the house was all clean and it was time to leave what had been our home for the last few years. I walk outside. Am greeted by the glorious view of rolling hills that has been the landscape of our being for a time. I look around. Soak it in. Life. Once again, life. The kangaroos in the field. The rabbits hopping. The horses in yonder field. And the flock of birds that flies straight over head. A flying-V. Migration. Leaving home. On their way home. Discovering a new place to nest. And how the birds called down to me in that moment; And how life called down to me in that moment; And how the sacred called down to me in that moment. And how I realised that aren’t they all one and the same.

Life, she happens everywhere. When you least expect her. All around. Always coming. Always going. Always flirting. We are always on our way home. We are always leaving home. Everything happens and then happens again. And the birds fly overhead and the wind comes and the cardboard flies and the underwear gets soaked and the boy laughs and the boxes are packed and the boy whispers love and there she is. Beneath it all. There she is. Life.