Day 124 ~ 177 Days of Unexpected Health Project

Under the Umbrella of Health

I have belabored the idea that we are over-consumers. I have talked at great length about our society’s obsession with buying crap. I have exhausted the idea that our health comes not from what we buy but how we live. But today, as I watched as four different people were struck with the same ill-healthy predicament, I discovered the shelter–the Unexpected Health…in umbrellas.

Now of course, the obvious health aspect of umbrellas is that they shield us from rain; from getting soaked during a downpour. Unfortunately for the four wet-dog lookalikes I saw standing on various street corners minus their umbrellas, they did not benefit from this obvious health purchase….a purchase I find us consumers neglect to buy! But the Unexpected Health in umbrellas is that they make wonderful visual reminders for living…and having a tangible ‘tap on our shoulder’ in life is healthy.

Umbrellas are protective little gadgets created to block the rain from ruining our fancy clothes, our leather shoes, or our recently-fixed hair. These little half-circle barricades keep the unwanted out, while allowing our eyes to be witness to the beauty that a spring shower can bring. An umbrella, although wall-like in its protection, is only beneficial if used when open. This is very much a depiction of us…or should be.

I have a shirt that so beautifully states, “Just like my umbrella, my heart is open.” I bought this as a reminder that umbrella-use is how we should embrace our past hurt, our lessons learned, and our relationships here and gone. We need to take these experiences, both healthy and less-than healthful, and create a protective, yet expansive and open tool for our growth and development. If we use our past and create a wall around us, we will be unable to let the light shine in when ‘sunshine’ comes. If umbrellas were constructed like that, we would never know when the rain stopped so we could put them away, and set our guard aside.

Life comes with its downpours; hard times can feel like they rain on us, soaking us to our core. That’s why we must always be equipped with umbrellas in life; with little open shields that help ‘fair the weather’ in this lifetime. So the next time you leave the house, make sure you bring your umbrella with you. Leave it in your car, in your briefcase, or in your office…not as means for being an Eeyore and expecting the worst–the rain–to happen, but in preparation for a little healthy protection to be right at your fingertips. -Until tomorrow, Jaime

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