As the bread ran low and our fruit drawer held a solitary lemon, I knew the time had come.
The store is in my sights and I wonder if needing a musical distraction makes me weak. Is it fighting or hiding? Is it brave or pathetic? The thoughts turn in my mind as I turn into the parking lot. I stop the engine, put on my mask, and ready my playlist. An eclectic mix spanning many artists and genres. As I near the door, I put in the headphones and press play. The soundtrack for my most daunting venture of the week begins as I wipe off the red plastic handle and pushed my cart through the double doors.
No sweaty palms this time as people in gas-masks walk by, no anxiety today as I walk between applesauce and oatmeal. The only rise in my heartbeat this day comes from my dancing.Mandisa guides me as I reached for the carrots. Van Morrison assists me as I check my eggs. The familiar voices are my comrades.
When all said and done, I sit in my car among my bounty: a grocery-store warrior.
Leaving the store, I ask the questions again. Does the need for such distraction make me week? As I near my house I realize I am not evading or hiding. I am defending!With song I guard my mind from anxious thoughts. With rhythm I shield my heart, fear does not get to manipulate my pulse. Armed with a playlist, I defend my soul, protecting it from the lies that fight to consume me, that did consume me only a week prior.
I pull into my driveway and I wish Queen’s “We Are The Champions” was blasting over my speakers. Today I wave the victory banner, thankful for another battle won.