Intuition Tells You Where You Need to Be

This is not the official post of the week, but a tangent, because I have to tell you about my day! As I had mentioned in a previous post, my friend and co-pilot on this blog, Patricia Lezama, recently moved out of state, but today we got to see each other! At first, I was determined to rush through my chores. Then I felt determined to make a necklace for her. Yes, silly I know! I haven’t made anyone a necklace in two decades!?!?! Now I must suddenly do one now? Okay.

I delayed our meetup and made what I came to consider the “fire necklace.” One of my bead batches wasn’t very good. I had to hunt for good beads. This took me twice as long to make the necklace.

Fire Necklace By Melanie Reynolds

Finally meet up and had lunch! It was at least two hours later than I had originally planned. As we finished, I witnessed an older woman fall and roll. I said, “We need to go help this lady.” So we walked over and the lady couldn’t get up. A man stopped and got out of his car. We agreed that he should call an ambulance. The lady was very brave, despite being in pain. It quickly became clear that she had broken her hip. She did her best to be calm and cheerful for her granddaughter, who was about 10 or 11 years old.

The granddaughter also did a great job remaining calm and giving information when her grandmother couldn’t. The ambulance arrived quickly because the Fire department was only a few blocks away. We assisted the paramedics to get the lady on the stretcher.

As there was nothing left for us to do, it was time to leave, but I was happy. I felt like I was where I was meant to be. I almost always listen to my intuition, no matter how silly it sounds sometimes. Every single time I do, fate puts me where I’m needed most. I have advanced first aid training and right before the pandemic I received my certification to “Train the Trainers” (Program Coordinator) for Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). CERT is a group of volunteers from the community that learn what to do during wide scale emergencies like Earthquakes and other natural disasters. We come from different ethnic, religious, economic, political backgrounds, ages, skills and abilities in the service of community. We’re the active helpers. Our diversity makes us stronger! Together we can speak many languages and respect the traditions of those who have strict religious or cultural beliefs.

I’ll be honest, I’m kind of a control freak. I train and train and train so that I can make myself useful in almost any situation. I like to think of it as a way to leverage anxiety. When I know what to do and how to do it there’s no room for anxiety. We strangers came together in that moment. We created an atmosphere of calm support. It was not a situation anyone wanted to be in, but we made the best of it.

I know the pandemic is not over. It’s really the last thing any disaster preparedness geek wants to deal with. In my career I’ve written several Health & Safety, Disaster Preparedness, & Policy & Procedures manuals for large institutions. I can tell you that the section on “Pandemics” has been at best maybe two paragraphs, a page or two if you fill in with extra words. What was I supposed to write? “In the middle of a pandemic please avoid people like the plague?” It’s hard for people like me to see a need and have to step aside.

So, while I feel terrible that the lady’s outing with her granddaughter didn’t turn out the way they had hoped, I’m grateful I was there. I’m grateful that it was something familiar and that I could help. I’ve often felt useless since the start of the pandemic. Like a racehorse waiting for the gate to open. I won’t let the experience of it go to waste though. Next time I write or revise a disaster preparedness manual I’ll have a lot more to say on pandemics!

I would like to encourage everyone reading this to get basic first aid training. If not through a local program, then watch some YouTube videos, search term, “Basic First Aid.” When you know what to do it feels a lot less scary.

Finally, If you do find yourself in a situation where someone needs emergency aid and you don’t have any training, it’s okay. Empathy and support can go a long way.  Ask them, “How can I help?” They can usually tell you, sometimes they can’t, that’s okay too. Keeping them conscious, talking and calm is a great way to help.

Stay safe friends!

The information below is directly from the FEMA website: Community Emergency Response Team |

CERT History

The CERT concept was developed and implemented by the Los Angeles City Fire Department in 1985. The Whittier Narrows earthquake in 1987 underscored the area-wide threat of a major disaster in California. Further, it confirmed the need for training civilians to meet their immediate needs.

CERT became a national program in 1993. There are now CERT programs in all 50 states, including many tribal nations and U.S. territories. Each is unique to its community and all are essential to building a Culture of Preparedness in the United States. There are over 2,700 local CERT programs nationwide and more than 600,000 people have trained since CERT became a national program.

I imagine there must be programs like this in other countries. Like the “White Hats” in Syria.

Does your country have a program like this? If so, What is it called?

Lance Sr. and Fawn, circa 1940s, USA

This farm boy grew up, met an amazing woman, and had two children. He eventually become my grandfather. He used to walk seven miles to and from school. On one of those walks home a doe was struck and killed by a vehicle. He brought the fawn home and took care of it until it was self-sufficient. It lived on and around the family farm for many years until one day it disappeared. While my family has farmed, fished, and hunted for generations, we have always valued life. We took only what we could eat and never hunted for sport. All people owe a debt to nature for their survival.

Lance Sr & Fawn cira 1940s,
©Melanie Reynolds. Not for sale, distribution or reproduction.

Pride Post: We’re all just people…or cosmic sand

When I was younger I used to say I could fall in love with anyone. That maybe my perfect mate was an alien and we just hadn’t met yet. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was signaling through dialog that I had an open mind. This often led to fascinating conversations with people who felt they could talk to me about anything without feeling judged. For a long time, it felt like a superpower, but now I understand that what we say and how we say it is an important part of expressing the dimensions within ourselves.

I initially grew up in a rough neighborhood, in a rough city. I learned that if you weren’t tougher than your adversaries, you better be faster and if you weren’t faster, you better be smarter. I was top dog at my elementary school. I had a friend with albinism and a friend in wheelchair. No one joked or harassed them in any way because I would kick their ass if they did. I could sweep a boy off his feet and step on his neck until he begged for mercy. I was badass. I had also learned Martial Arts from library books. My friend in the wheelchair died. I couldn’t fight the fragility of her body, only admire the spirit of her soul.

My mom and I moved right before the start of middle school. We moved into the rich kid school district. I was not the top dog. I was a poor kid, a loser, “rough around the edges” and ostracized. Slowly I started to make friends with the other kids that were also ostracized either for being poor or different in some other way. I wanted to beat up my antagonizers but all it did was get me sent to the principal’s office. Message received; I was the problem. So instead of retaliating I withdrew from reacting at all. I became a dispassionate observer of the human psyche. These rich kids: they fight with words, they fight with posturing, they fight with their network of resources available to them, but most of all, they tightly guard their weakness. They sit atop their mounds of freshly hidden bones.

To my mother’s chagrin I went from Country girl to Goth girl overnight. You treat me as different; I’ll show you what different looks like. I went back to the books. I read philosophy, books about competitive mindsets in sports training, business books about negotiating, mythology, folklore, and so on, and so on. I learned to fight with words, but more then that, I learned how to uncover their bones/weaknesses. I became an “other” like no other. My adaptions made me a sought-after commodity. Students and teachers alike sought me out for advice. I built up trust. I listened to secrets and never repeated a one. I demonstrated that being different didn’t mean being scary. As I got older; I let go of being everyone’s defender and gave them tools to fend for themselves. I learned that rich kids have problems too. I learned that everyone feels like they have something to hide. I learned that a lot of us are learning to adapt to survive in a way that reconciles how we feel with who we are.

My first love was an unrequited love. I couldn’t make him love me. I was floored when a friend confessed that she loved me as I loved him. I was sad and angry. Not at her, but at the situation. She said we couldn’t be friends anymore because it was too painful for her. I bitterly understood. Later that week, I too severed my friendship with the guy I adored because it was too painful for me. That was a shitty week. I lost two good friends and learned that sometimes you have to let love go.

A few years later I moved to Seattle. In 1998, I joined the march and vigil for Matthew Shepard. I didn’t know him. I only knew that he had been killed for being openly gay. Tortured and let to freeze to death in a field out in the middle of Wyoming. I thought about how scared he must have been and that he could have been a friend. It was a terrible reminder that there are still places in the world less tolerant of people being different.

I’m not perfect. Sometimes I play too rough, or say stupid and insensitive things, but I also don’t keep quiet or back down when I see someone experiencing pain, hate or threats of violence because of who they are. I don’t have to embody the characteristics of every individual I meet to understand what it feels like to be rejected, hated, or ignored. What is it you fear when you see someone who is different from yourself?

Humanity cycles through the same age-old questions over and over. “Know Thyself” while attributed to Socrates is expressed in nearly every edict or doctrine throughout various religions. Instead of saying, “What’s wrong with them?” Maybe the better question to ask is “Why does their difference upset me?” Why is it so hard to live and let live? None of us have been granted a divine right to be judge, jury and executioner over the lives of others. If you don’t like something or chose not to participate in it, it’s okay to say, “It’s not for me.”

Having sex with another woman, is not for me. Encroaching on another person’s autonomy, is not for me. I’m happy I’m not the center of the universe. I’m happy that I’m a small speck of sand in a greater community of….sand…people. I had my first existential crisis at age 13. The summer camp counselor told us to go around the circle and answer the question, “Who am I?” I panicked as I listened to the other girls go before me. Who…am…I? Why is this such a tough question? Megan defined herself as a girl who liked to ride horses and jump rope. Angel likes to paint because she thinks everything should be pretty. So are we defined by what we do? Are we defined by what we think? “I think, therefore I am? “  I am, I am what? By the time it was my turn I burst into tears and said, “I don’t know.” I ran out the door, barefoot through the woods, across the fallen log, and onto the small granite island at the edge of the lake where only the moon and stars could comfort me. I stayed all night. I’d like to say I was wiser the next morning, but I wasn’t. I was only committed to wanting to explore who I was with who I felt I ought to be. That journey still continues to this day.

We stand at the precipice of a new global event not seen in the history of humankind. We’ve had mini-ice ages in the past, but nothing like the global warming event coming on the horizon. Our modernized civilizations are already beginning to adapt both consciously and unconsciously to the future. Why should it be so wrong that some people within our societies find love among their own gender? Or seek to validate their body image when it doesn’t correlate with their conscious self? I have yet to meet a person who was content to live and die as a mayfly. (To live only to reproduce and die.)

If you think homosexuality and gender swapping are abominations of nature, then you don’t know nature very well.

Links to fascinating articles:

 8 Interesting Animals That Can Change Gender (

Homosexuality in nature explained – PsychMechanics

Has the Earth reached its carrying capacity? | HowStuffWorks

Matthew Shepard – Death, Impact & Facts – Biography

   This Guy Went to Jail Because Police Thought His Hair Was Too Long (

What say ye?