“Life Happens Between an Inhale and an Exhale”

Dear Reader:

Just like one letter can take “Hope” and turn it into “Hoe” 🙂 with a missing “P” …one quick second (between inhaling and exhaling) with our first breath of air…is when the miracle of life begins.

In one second, for another example, I grabbed a flower planter and put it on the front porch steps to get the strangest little rain shower that popped up for about twenty minutes yesterday… while the sun was still out.

As soon as I put the planter back in its rightful place on the porch…a little daisy, that had been struggling to survive, popped open. One second (of putting it in a position to drink the rain)…and life was restored.

The miracle of life that takes place everywhere, everyday, on our planet…from hospitals, to tents, to homes and every place in between…IS the most important second in each of our lives. It takes place with that first intake of air into our lungs. What a strange baffling sensation that must be to our small, still undeveloped, nervous system.

None of us remember it at birth…but later as mothers or family members helping with child-bearing…we remember holding our own breaths until we hear the startled gasp and then  cry of a beloved child. The most beautiful sound on earth.

Haven’t many of us have fallen or had the air knocked out of us…perhaps while playing a sport? It is the most terrifying second in our lives…not be able to catch our breath. In that moment of frightening disbelief… air and life become one and the same. We would give away everything we possessed just to get our breath back again…to feel life one more time.

Today all types of meditation classes have us stop and practice breathing since we spend most of our time taking it for granted. We discover that deep breaths, not only enlighten us, but open us up to a level of awareness not recognized with shallow breaths on a daily basis.

Think about breathing in relation to the most important benchmarks in our lives. The first question asked in an emergency situation is: “Is the person breathing?” It is also often the first question asked about newborns and the last one asked about the dying.

But the most important question we must ask ourselves each day when we rise is…how am I going to help someone today between all my inhales and exhales? How can I help make the world just a little bit better for having been in it?

If we find ourselves hard pressed to answer the question…then we must face the next one. “Are we contributing to this old world or are we simply taking up space by breathing and little else?”

So until tomorrow…Like oxygen and carbon dioxide…we must find that perfect balance in life between taking in all of life’s beautiful gifts it has to offer and then releasing all our own unique God-given gifts to help as many others as we can… before we take that last breath.

“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh

I spent Saturday night at John and Mandy’s keeping the children while they “escaped” for some much needed adult conversation time. But that left me free to listen to a four-year old and and nine-year-old share the world according to both of them….wonder and curiosity.

Jake always wondered why girls got to paint their finger nails and boys didn’t…so (while Eva Cate giggled hysterically) I painted Jake’s finger nails too…he loved them and proudly wore the polish Saturday night and Sunday as we explored the inside and outside world together.

Eva Cate went with Clemson colors…orange on her finger nais and purple on her toes!

At last a meal without having to jump up every few seconds to get something for the children…and adult conversation without interruptions. Summertime and the ice cream truck…best childhood memories.


About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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1 Response to “Life Happens Between an Inhale and an Exhale”

  1. Janet Bender says:

    Love your “inhale/exhale” analogy with “giving and taking” what life has to offer.
    Most of us have “inhaled”so many blessings that we surely have excess to be “exhaled” into the lives of others. Thanks for the reminder, Becky!


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