It’s hard to imagine, I know, but did we ever have a swell Girl Scout troop.The wearing of the odd green cotton uniform adorned with gold trefoils and blue “World Association” pins, cinched with a green military style belt, which was replaced in junior high with a uniform that added insult to injury by becoming downright WAF-ish, was a small price to pay for all of the experiences that we enjoyed together. No one ever could deny we had fun.
Thanks to great leaders like my mom–who remains LEGEND to this day with the now grown women who wore the dogwood troop crest of Troop 187– our group of girls represented every bright and zesty aspiration that Juliette Lowe envisioned. The forest green badge sashes we wore were filled with brightly embroidered tiny tea cups awarded for indoor hospitality and little black pots with flames under them for outdoor cooking. We were adventurous little bon vivants who hiked, skated and swam our way to young adulthood, from the time we were nine until we were eighteen, holding watercolor brushes and needles and thread; selling lots of shortbread cookies and plenty of thin mints along the way.
Because of those boxes we were able to board the Southern Crescent in Birmingham and ride the rails across Lake Pontchartrain to New Orleans, dining at Arnaud’s, having breakfast at Brennan’s, and discovering cool, verdant courtyards. Cookie money never tasted so sweet.
At the end of each Friday afternoon troop meeting, we would form a circle, hold hands, and sing Taps with varying, and eventually diminishing degrees of sincerity. By the time we were seniors, our delivery was a little blase, but we still gave the words lip service. “Gone the sun, from the hills, from the skies!”
“Day is done! Safely rest, day is dooooooooone.
And there is the heart of the matter here.
The short days of December are extremely challenging to me. Once it gets dark, I am as done as the day!
The words to the song we sang at the end of our meetings before we sailed out of them and back into our own girlish concerns, came to mind as I was driving home, and brought back the memories of our scouting days, when energy was in a much more abundant supply.
Honestly, the short days are giving me a fit, and causing me to veer off course from where I want to be heading–which is a healthier body. The only answer is to go to the gym, where once inside, maybe I won’t think about–or be aware of the darkness that is outside surrounding my car. And maybe if I could rev up my metabolism just one extra revolution around 5:30, then maybe I would not be so drowsy by 7, and I would sleep more restfully, too.
It’s all made more frustrating, because if it was summertime, I know with certainty that I would still be going full tilt.
Well, I have this one thing to say to myself, and it’s a promise I am making with three fingers up, “On my honor, I will try!”
I am simply going to try harder.