The cool air drafted through the building as I gathered my things from the worn and tattered desk on the ninth floor of the library. It was the second to last week of school and I had just gotten done finishing up a few assignments before it was time to go to my evening class.
One more week of enduring finals and presentations. One more and my summer began!
I made my way through the library shelves and to the elevator. I passed many others who were also sitting down, studying and finishing last-minute homework. The campus at this time, especially in the spring, has an energy that is undeniable. The freshman are happy to have gotten through their first year and seniors are ready to be at graduation ASAP.
With a ding of the button, I was patiently waiting for the elevator to ascend the nine floors to where I was. I was standing there and I noticed the general fire escape map that most elevators have posted somewhere near them. A tiny red dot marked the spot where I stood and above it “You are here” in big, bold, capital letters. It also showed me one of two safety exits I could take to get out of the building if ever there was a fire. Good to know.
You would have to work your way through the many shelves at the other end of the floor to find the exit door to the stairwell. I thought about it while waiting for the elevator to come and I realized how beautifully this compared to life, to heartache, and to finding hope.
I wondered to myself as the elevator dinged, signaling its stop to take me down, if we ever fight hard enough to make it to safety? I mean, emotional safety, peace at heart, and feeling like you will make it?
Life can sometimes feel like a blazing fire that is burning right through the good things in life, much like the old books sitting on those shelves in that library if a fire were to ever blaze through there. The literature there is something that meant something to someone and was written for a purpose. In the same way bad things happen to everyone, people with a purpose. That can feel like a raging fire with all its smoke, pulling out the breath that is keeping you alive.
I would hope that I wouldn’t just plop down right there and burn to death. I hope that I would fight my way through the fire to make it to safety. Even though the exit route has many twists and turns, it’s still there. A way out. A way to something better.
I guess I talk about a metaphorical fire to say don’t stop fighting for peace in life, don’t give up, and keep your head held high when you feel like the whole world is against you.
Those flames can’t truly get to you unless you let them.