A Folly Starfish Christmas Story

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By Minta Pavliscsak

It was Christmas Eve in our little slice of Folly Under the Sea. This year things around me seemed more calm than usual. Everyfish seemed to be ahead of the typical hustle and bustle of the season. That is, every fish except for me. I like to live in the here and now, which means I am really good when it comes to what others view as procrastinating. I like to think of it more as I work well under pressure. That aside, I was bobbing from store to store as quickly as I could but a starfish can only go as fast as the current takes him and today the current was in no rush.

Somehow I managed to squeak in grocery shopping, picking up my famous last minute –but always perfect– gifts, visiting a few friends, and even getting a relaxing arm massage at Sacred Arm Massage & Healing Arts. Floating home, I looked around at all the happy fish. It was such a beautiful day. The sun was glistening brightly through the waves. There were even surfboards overhead, and not a shark sighting all day. The small fish were playing with each other and singing carols in anticipation of what tonight would bring. The bigger fish were holding hands and sneaking kisses, just as giddy as the little ones.

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Finally making it home, I put on my favorite Michael Bubble Christmas album and started wrapping presents. Later that evening, I enjoyed the sunset in my back sand where I could see the human’s Folly Christmas tree off in the distance. Those humans are so creative! Who would think to put a Christmas tree on the beach anyway? ?After Christmas Eve dinner and appeasing carol singers who literally would not leave until I gave them figgy pudding –good thing I picked up dates at the store– I finally settled in to rest until Christmas day.

However, it was a restless sleep, and when I did drift off I had crazy dreams. One was of a psychedelic octopus. He just kind of joyfully floated in one spot, smiling and waving almost glowing in the surf. And then I woke up. Then there was the dream of a sandcastle Santa Claus. Had I seen the humans building one on the beach? Had Santa visited me and I sleepily caught him? Was Santa Claus really made out of sand? The psychedelic octopus seemed to make more sense than that! Maybe I was just as excited as every fish else that I had seen the day before. After all, Christmas is my most favorite of all the holidays. And even after all these years, I have never stopped believing. I gave into my excitement and floated out of bed, cranked up the Bubble, and got ready for the day.

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As I put on my funny Santa attire, the smile that would remain ever present for the day crept across my face. How silly of me to think there would be sleep on the eve of today of all days! The doorbell rang. My friends and family had arrived. It was the beginning of another perfect Christmas Under the Folly Sea.

From our family to yours,
Happy Christmas, Merry Everything!

Never Stop Believing

Find Your Inner Underdog – We All Need a Reason to Believe

All too often we are dwarfed by the media’s sensationalism of celebrities, money, fame, fortune and all the glutenous impulses that drive us all to the brink of insanity. Why is it we feel the need to live vicariously through Brad Pitt, The Bachelor and Kim Kardashian? I wish I had an answer. I wish I knew why a billionaire in Texas is giving five million dollars to a presidential candidate when every street corner in New York has a homeless person waking up each morning wondering where his next meal is.

Where do we find salvation in the direction life is taking us all?

Many of us joke about the apocalypse. Those that believe in the complete word of the bible do know this

John F. Kennedy Jr. Funeral. Single.
John F. Kennedy Jr. Funeral. Single.

would not be the first time wen went through a planetary cleansing exercise. Maybe this is our time. Maybe we are all about to embark on a temporary extinction. With movies like Melancholia and The Road even Hollywood is monopolizing on the anticipation, fear and mockery of the end of the world.

So how do we find hope in a world crippled with the death of morals and convictions?

We live vicariously through the moments where ordinary becomes extraordinary. It is when the underdog, the unknown, the weak create miracles. It is when the Chilean Miners escaped to hug their families one more time, when 20 college hockey players on February 22, 1980, gave the United States a reason to believe again, when a young woman diagnosed with cancer, not only beats the disease but was able to celebrate life.

American freedom was one of miracles of all time. An under-manned, under-equipped, under-nourished army of colonists who had nothing more than the idea of a promise of a better tomorrow, banded together and with nothing short of will and hope defeated the greatest military in the world. A true David and Goliath story.

Then there are moments. Moments that bring us to the brink. Moments that shower us with tears of sadness and happiness simultaneously. It is these unforgettable moments that truly reminds us without spoken word that life is worth living and worth dreaming.

It is the speech by Jimmy Valvano, who had the courage to get up in front of a live audience and an international television audience on the brink of death from cancer to talk openly about his disease and his love for his family, fans and sports, it is Pat Summit, one of the greatest basketball coaches ever addressing her fans and disclosing her early dementia diagnosis and it is John F. Kennedy Jr. saluting a flag at his fathers funeral because he doesn’t know why but knew it is the right thing to do that makes it all memorable.

Sometimes you just have to believe in the unbelievable to find your inner strength.

I am here to tell you, life isn’t easy. I won’t pretend it is or even tell you things get better. We will all undergo challenges, moments of weakness and doubt but something somehow finds its way to us when we truly need it. It is as simple as a hug or a sign but its message is loud and clear.

In a world that is 26,000 miles in circumference and 6.3 billion people deep, I suppose we are all underdogs.

It is those rare few the dig into the trenches of their soul and use all the energy in their heart to find the finish line that keep us all believing in something great.

Without a reason to believe, what do we have?