The Floor is Lava

JoAnna Bennett

JoAnna Bennett, O’Brien Communications Group

14 January 2021

From time to time, I like to ask the smartest person in my house for blog topic ideas. If you know anything about my family, you’ll know I’m referring to my beautiful five-year-old-daughter. When I asked her this week, her reply was, “How about the floor is lava?”

Have you ever played the game? If not, I’ll give you the lowdown. It starts with some music playing. We dance until the music stops. And when it does, we yell, “The floor is lava!” And everyone must jump onto the couch, a chair, or even the table. You just must get your feet off the floor as fast as you can because, well, it’s lava! And then the music starts again, which indicates the floor has gone back to carpet, and we begin to dance once more. The game continues until the participants become bored with the experience.

Real Life

When it comes to the real world, I sometimes feel (especially lately) like the music seems to shut off and our figurative floor turns to lava. I’m dancing along in my own pleasant little bubble, when suddenly the music shuts off. I look around for the closest couch, chair, or table. And jump on!

When things seem to be going wrong or it’s our turn in the barrel, there usually isn’t much of a warning. The music just shuts off. And if you’re too far from a lava-free surface, there could be several scalding steps you must take to reach safety.

Once you reach the lava-free safety zone, you can collect yourself and find some hope. As my experience has taught me, the music will turn on again. I just must patiently wait and have faith. And as Thich Nhat Hanh, global spiritual leader, poet, and peace activist, says,

“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.”

If it just so happens to be your turn in the proverbial barrel, try to hold on. Try to find a glimmer of hope. It might be silent right now, but the music will begin again. And you can start to dance along in your pleasant little bubble once more.