A couple of months ago while I sat at my desk at work I opened a text from my dad. Texts from my dad are often incredibly random- he refuses to use punctuation, loves an emoji and they always require further explanation. This particular message was a picture of my dad standing on the terrace of his Spanish apartment, not particularly odd or in need of explanation. What was strange was his new mode of transportation also pictured. Much to my absolute horror he had purchased two large scooters. You know those Micro scooters which were a fad in the 90’s and remain popular between 2-8 year olds worldwide? Well these were the adult version and my 57 year old father's latest solution to the 20 minute walk home from the nearest town after an evening out.
I phoned him later that evening and he explained to me taxis are expensive. I explained to him parents on scooters were painfully embarrassing. He recounted to me the tale of the evening before of him majestically gliding past the long taxi queue on his adult scooter, my step mum beside him on her own scooter and their race back to their home. At this point I nearly hung up in horror, wondering if my impending trip across to Spain was a holiday or an intervention for pensioners on adult scooters. Clearly my darling father had the touch of the later life crises.
From then on I had regular updates about how the scooters were changing his life. And true enough when I was over for a long weekend my dad packed the scooters into the car before our evening out so we could leave the car to be collected in the morning and enjoy an evening of sangria and tapas. Naturally reverting back to 12 year old Frankie I was embarrassed of this, what people would say about us if they saw the scooters and staunchly refusing I would ever in my whole entire life ‘scoot’ home. However 11pm came and let’s face it- no one wants to walk home after an evening out. So on that scooter I got.
My dad then turned scooter master and showed me how to use the brake, improve my aerodynamics and suggested I prepare for my life to change. And just like that I saw myself glide past the taxi queue, waving to the friendly local hecklers and serenely moving at speed down hill, hair blowing in the wind. And I couldn’t help it but the smile on my face was irrepressible . I weaved in and out of traffic islands, laughed as I crossed the small canal and went round a round about the wrong way; forgetting it was Spain and not Scotland. But don’t worry the roads are very quiet and well lit (ish). I reached the top of another hill, stopping in order to ensure I could build up maximum speed by pushing off from the top. And down I went, imagine the quiet Spanish streets, wind, laughter and just then as if this wasn’t the biggest treat I kid you not, I saw a shooting star whizz past my eyes. And I felt it, the first I’d felt it for a while and I couldn’t help but shout it out loud – ‘I am Free.’
I haven’t felt terribly free recently. I’ve felt weighed down by circumstances, I’ve felt under the spotlight, I’ve felt crushed by sadness and anxiety. I’ve had sleepless nights and experienced about every subtle physical symptom major stress can cause upon the human body. I’ve felt hopeless for the future after things I faithfully prayed for and practically prepared for failed to come into fruition and helpless that I could do nothing to change this. I’ve felt worthless, unloved and all alone. But there in that moment I felt God lift a layer of sadness from me, the chains around me felt looser as I hurtled down that hill with tears of freedom rolling down my face. Every time I think of this moment I feel that freedom again and I smile. God has given me the blessing of a tangible moment to cast my mind back to when I feel weighed down and I can feel again uplifted and again feel His almighty presence and turn my circumstances back into his capable hands.
‘For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom’ -- 2 Corinthians 3:17
I am now a thorough advocate and fan of adult scooters- but please do wear a helmet and adequate padding- but that’s a whole other story entirely! Also someone told me shooting stars are actually asteroids which are entering the universe to burn up but that doesn’t have the same cheery ring to it now does it?!
Thoughts, experiences, and encouragement from the ladies of Falkirk Vineyard.