“I am the watcher on the wall.”– The oath of the Night’s Watch, “Game of Thrones”
This morning my Dad woke me by poking his head in my room and informing me of a tornado warning. He explained where I could shelter and then told me he’d let me know if he thought we all needed to take cover.
I took the offer. I kept on lying in bed (albeit now clutching my dearest worldly possessions – tellingly, my phone and my computer) and hoped to get some more sleep.
I’m ashamed of myself.
This is not what a man was supposed to do – to let someone else take the watch in a time of potential danger. Fortunately I figured this out before too long and got up and did what I should have done: put on my boots, helped clear out a space to shelter, and watched the weather.
The tornado passed, but I learned a lesson: never let another man do your duty for you, even when it’s offered freely. My father deserved someone to stand by him, not another person to watch out for. And in not playing my role in the protection of our home, I was selling myself short, too.
We all have “walls” to watch: our own wellbeing, our finances, our family’s safety, our community’s justice, our land’s health. If we don’t step up to watch, we may be lucky enough that someone better than us will. But that doesn’t mean we should let them – and we can’t expect them to always be there.