People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy. ~Anton Chekhov
Life is an open-air market. We have before us, each day, an array of choices. These choices are equally good, and just waiting to be chosen.
Celebrate the fiesta!
Look around. An abundance of life is at our fingertips.
Photo: Courtesy of Britannica.com
Clouds, Mountains, and Strawberries:
On the flight from Phoenix to Nevada, a smaller plane makes a quick left to get itself out of our way. From my angle, I can see it coming toward our plane; it then make its turn so I could see it move away from us. I had not seen engine trails from this angle before. I could see the side view, the back, and the opposite side as we zip right by in the air. All around the plane the clouds had formed different layers in the sky. Notably, the clouds form the various shapes that we’ve grown accustomed; however, I was able to see them from a perspective never noticed before this particular trip. Their form and layers allowed me to decipher the stratus clouds from the cumulous clouds and I found myself wondering which clouds I liked best. Here’s the thing… Who cares? Right? I allowed that thought to complete itself before really getting to the real perspective of viewing them at this height. What I noticed about these seemly ordinary clouds and my first reaction to choose a preference, is that these clouds demonstrated levels or tiers. On further thought, my analysis moved into thinking of the levels or tiers of society. The upper clouds resembled the posh, fluffy, and exotic shapes that formed mountain peaks only visible as we gained height and looked down upon them. Just under the sun are prime clouds accumulating to either keep heat in the atmosphere or to cause rain, an interesting job. As we descended, the stratus became more visible. There were many of these, and I could sense that the function of these types seemed less important. I would imagine that many of us see society in very much the same way. However, at the moment I was on the ground, these clouds were no less important than any of them. Clouds are clouds. Clouds hold water. That’s their job. So, why would the level of suspension determine any importance at all? It doesn’t. What matters is each has its own beauty and mystique. Clouds are all the same. Shape does not determine anything, including levels of status. Just like people. We are all the same. Our shape does not determine our importance. Having had this thought reminded me of a moment in Jane Austen’s book, Emma. Emma and others visit Box Hill known for strawberries and their varieties, Hautboy, chili, and whitewood. The ladies engage in rising chatter while picking and enjoying before seeking shelter from the immense heat of the sun. During this moment, it is difficult to follow the conversation; however, it is a telling conversation not just of strawberries, but of levels in society. Each of the strawberries has its unique quality, yet none is superior. The novel’s ending is just as charming as its beginning. To see a film adaptation of this classic, view Clueless 1995, written and directed by Amy Heckerling.
(All these thoughts of strawberries may be the reason for picking up a giant carton of them from Costco before the 5-hour road trip to California.)
Flying over the Sierras to Reno is a treat. The mountains are so close, they seem as though you could reach out and touch them; quite a sight to behold. They are as majestic as promised, and humbling. The snow caps are intricately defined. The vast and imposing crags could envelope giants. Surely, aesthetic distance helps us to realize just how tiny we are, and equally diminishes our seemingly huge issues. It is also interesting to note that while the earth gives form to these anomalies, we aim to live in and construct our buildings with geometrical shapes. As we pass over a very circular lake with the mountain’s reflection in them, it can be noticed that the lake formed here at the base has receded over the years as if the levels of water had lowered and washed away the rock further creating the caverns along the sides as the mountains pushed their way upward providing this mirror for the heavens. My window seat pictures do no justice to the beauty of this lake.
I hope you seek daily adventures and see the true beauty in life. It will help you minimize your fears, anxieties, and problems when you realize the vast and limitless possibilities awaiting you.
I typically won’t use first person narrative in my blog posts because the concepts I explain are universal. This post tells a story that helps me provide a basis for what I’m about to share.
One of the many salutations I could use to end my posts just wouldn’t capture the essence of what I felt when one of my favorite teachers had ended an email addressed to me with “Joy”. At first I was upset. Really? I complained. I had just sent a desperate note to him that I had a terrible case of writer’s block 40 pages into the dreaded 80 page thesis paper, due within days. The word jumped off the screen to me. Never has anyone used this salutation to end an email before. Never was I so disturbed. How did he expect me to muster up joy when writing the longest essay I had ever written?
Teachers are like this, Yes?
Assignments are difficult. Life is difficult. The thing is, the love he sent through email that day changed my life. Yes, love. Remember in the last post when I quoted John C Maxwell? Maxwell’s definition of friend resonates the type of challenge Dr. Daly posed to me. I grappled with it for a day or so before realizing something. I had forgotten to enjoy the assignment, the challenge, the journey, and my knowledge about the chosen subject. Once I felt “joy”, I was able to move through the last 41 pages like a breeze.
You see, the journey for writing that essay is a metaphor for life. Sometimes, about half way through, we panic. Sometimes we want to quit and turn in the gloves because we tire easily from the fight. We’d rather give up and go home. Friends around us can help make the struggle a bit easier. As a friend, you can ease another’s concerns. – We are all connected. Each of us needs another to stand along side through tough times. We are like blades of grass. Just one blade does not make a lush field. Stand with friends and give support. It doesn’t need to be much. It could be just a salutation. . .