I remember the day in second grade when it started to snow pretty hard. My classmates and I were all on the playground that morning when the class bully, Hunter Leadbetter, pushed me to the ground, ripping my pants. The entire leg was torn, and I was terribly embarrassed. The lady in the office tried to fix it temporarily with safety pins, but I was still upset and didn’t want to return to my classroom.
Because the driving conditions were getting bad outside, all of the parents were picking up their children early from school, so I just waited in the office. I remember how happy I was to see my father coming to get me.
For me that was an unsettling experience. Yet today there is not even a trace of distress left on my memory. And though I remember the incident quite well, I no longer feel that sting of embarrassment. What I do remember, however, is that it turned out to be one of those great and rare snowy days here in Augusta. And if anything, I’m left with a fondness of that memory. The thought of Hunter Leadbetter no longer bullies me; he’s just the figure in my mind that marks the memory of one of those beautiful snowy days here in the South.
Day 15 Guide
Let your bullies go. Allow the work of memory to smooth out the rough edges, and see the images of painful times as mere markers for learning or important change. Most every painful event that I can remember has some comfort associated with it as well. Think today of that responding comfort.
© 2005, Levi Hill