Here in suburbia, we highly prize stability and safety. There are many people who work to provide this for us, and this post is in honor of them.
At about this time of year, the chemistry teacher abandons his pyromania activities in favor of something more suitable for the season: making snow globes. This has something to do with chemistry, but I’m not sure what.
This is one of those school projects that is also a parent assignment. An assignment which my son told me about a full week in advance, and which I promptly forgot about. So the day before the materials were due, the Common Household husband rushed off to buy some Gorilla Glue, I washed and de-stank a pickle jar, and my son and I were combing the basement for a small toy appropriate to put in a snow globe.
I had my mind on small aquatic animals or flightless sea birds. Something that would be appropriate for a cold water environment. (Wait, was this MY project or his?)
I was just about to go look for the old bath toys, when we found the toy soldiers. And a toy American flag to go with them. My son liked this idea a lot. I said, “Iwo Jima!” But when he positioned them in the pickle jar lid, it didn’t look like Iwo Jima. Plus I think Iwo Jima is a tropical Pacific island, no? It probably doesn’t snow there too often.
His snow globe has two soldiers on the lookout, guarding the American flag. And when he brought the finished project home from school, I realized that wherever these snow globe soldiers are serving, it is really cold and snowy. They are standing in, like, four feet of snow – it comes up to their chests. When it “snows” in there, the visibility goes down to zero. At first I thought this was totally unrealistic, but maybe somewhere in the mountains of Afghanistan, there is a lot of snow.
As we approach Christmas, I invite you to include in your prayers these four groups of people who strive to provide stability and safety for the rest of us. These groups do not cover it all, so feel free to add your own.
1. People serving in the U.S. military and diplomatic corps around the world.
2. People working to protect and stabilize the global and local environment.
3. People working to alleviate and even end poverty.
4. People of any faith or religion or none at all who can see the humanity of the person opposite them, and can therefore treat others with dignity.