I've admittedly watched too much news this week, not all of it good. Over 100 Nigerian school girls abducted at gunpoint from their classrooms by armed extremists. A ship sinking in frigid waters with students texting their parents as the ship fills and traps them. A inexplicable stabbing rampage at the end of the year celebration of university students in Calgary. A couple's young daughter feeling tired and restless and worn down in the midst of her third chemo treatment.
These are the Dementors that are grabbing hold of me today. I don't mean to give credence to the existence of these dark creatures that are written purely as fantasy, but listen to how Harry's professor describes them and tell me that these aren't the things we deal with daily:
"Dementors are among the foulest creatures that walk this earth. They infest the darkest, filthiest places, they glory in decay and despair, they drain peace, hope and happiness out of the air around them. Get too near a Dementor and every good feeling, every happy memory will be sucked out of you. If it can, a Dementor will feed on you long enough to reduce you to something like itself. You will be left with nothing but the worst experiences of your life." - Remus Lupin to Harry Potter
There are always things around us that are looking to suck the life, energy, peace and hope out of us. The only way to combat that is to avoid those things where possible and to fill ourselves of as much life, energy, peace and hope that we can in an effort to sustain ourselves.
So today, one of those that has me wanting to crawl back under the covers and stay in bed till spring truly arrives, I'm taking a few moments to find the good stuff. The photos on my desk of my boys sitting in the dirt in Africa, talking to other boys and playing games. Some brightly coloured paintings from Cambodia that remind me that somewhere in the world there is warmth and there are literally hundreds of children right now being cared for by their house mothers at Place of Rescue, with food in their tummies and homework to be done. And particularly, I can bring to mind the nighttime routines of our care workers and kids in our community in Zambia, and I can picture more than a few of their homes as they settle in for the night. I think of the floors I've sat on, the beds I've shared, the places of honour I've been seated at throughout Mulenga, and my heart fills back up with hope and energy and peace.
It's not easy to stay filled with good things. It takes intention. So, this morning, that's what I'm repeating over and over, as the wind rattles the windows. I'm rewriting the soundtrack to make it something I can dance to or sing with.