The Charlie Bravo Story

The Swarm

Happy Charlie Bravo Day!

Words mean things; but sometimes it’s hearing a word used in a different way that makes perfect sense as well. A buddy of mine was telling me of an old truck he had bought on a whim, and he was hoping that the vehicle wouldn’t swarm him with too many problems.

“Swarm”. I had never heard the word used that way, but it described such a feeling perfectly, just as when problems are coming at you as fast and furiously as a hive of hornets. You can try to run, but you’re still going to get hit, probably multiple times. You can flail about all you like, but all you’ll be is entertaining to someone who is watching from afar. It is said that dancers appear insane to those who can’t hear the music; I would add that the same is true of someone who is being assaulted by a swarm of bees.

There really is no single response to dealing with a swarm, sometimes the best you can do is merely hang on, accept help from those good enough to offer it, and wait for the swarm to pass; quitting is not an option.

I can tell by your comments that many if not all of us are dealing with our own respectable swarms. A few weeks ago, I was swarmed with a mini-stroke that quite honestly scared the pudding out of me, as it temporarily made off with some of my words. Then the panicky feeling brought on by an air raid of downward spiraling “what ifs?”, the most vicious of these attacks occuring in the wee hours of the morning. This softened my defenses to the point that an unrelated but extremely painful knee issue that left me incarcerated at the Casa for a week took on monumental proportions at a time when my inspection business was just starting to pick up in the spring. Mentioning these things seperately makes them seem a bit insignificant now, especially as I’m sure that there are many of you experiencing MUCH worse, but at the time, I assure you that the swarm was very real. It seemed that the more I flailed about inside my own head, the worst the attacks became.

How’s that for a run-on sentence?

But just when I was sure that I would never again see the light of day(figuratively speaking, of course), the swarm inexplicably began to dissipate. The problems were still there, but somehow seemed a bit more manageable. Although I had known this to be the case all along, sometimes we need reminding that, for better or worse, “this too shall pass”.

Life is a series of peaks and valleys, of ebbs and flows, of actions and equal and opposite reactions; why should this not apply to swarms as well? While swarms of problems are perhaps more easily recognizable at the time as such, what about the swarm of good things that often follow thereafter as a result?
Some call it “karma”, some know it as “sowing and reaping”; what we send out we get back, if we are open to accepting it. But you cannot accept a gift if your fist is clenched; open it and start looking for the inevitable swarm of good things coming your way.

That’s what Charlie would do…

We be of one blood, ye and I.

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